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Napoleon Bonaparte 




Colonel G. J. FIEBEGER 

Professor of Engineering, U. S. Ailitory Academy 


U. S. Ailitory Academy Printing Office 


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NAPOLEON BONAPARTE— Born at Ajaccio, island of Corsica, 
August 15th, 1768; died on«th€ island of Saint Helena, off the coast of 
Africa, May 5th, 1821. Student in military schools April 23rd, 1779 to 1785; 
second lieutenant 1785 to 1791; first lieutenant 1791 to 1792; general of 
brigade 1793; general of division and army commander 1795; consul and 
first consul 1799; first consul for life 1802; emperor 1804; abdicated 1814; 
reascended throne and abdicated 1815. 

He entered the military school of Brienne, France, April 23rd, 1779, 
from which he passed to the military school of Paris, October 8th, 1783. 
Was graduated and assigned to the Artillery, September 1st, 1785. Entered 
artillery school of Valence, October, 1785, and remained until August 12th, 
1786. Served with his regiment of La Fere, at Lyons and Douai until Jan- 
uary, 1787, when he went to Corsica on leave. Returned to France and 
joined his regiment at Auxonne, May, 1788. In September, 1789, 
he returned to Corsica on leave. Rejoined his regiment at 
Auxonne, June, 1790, and remained with it until April, 1791, when he was, 
as first lieutenant, assigned to the artillery regiment of Grenoble, stationed 
at Valence. In October, 1791, he again visited Corsica on leave. Here he 
became adjutant and later lieutenant colonel of a volunteer battalion, but 
still held his rank in the regular army in which he became junior captain 
January 14th, 1792, and senior captain March 8th, 1793. He remained ia 
Corsica until June, 1793, when he rejoined his regiment, then belonging 
to the Army of Italy, at Nice. Upon the revolt at Toulon, he went to Paris, 
asked for, and received from the Committee of Public Safety, the provi- 
sional command of the artillery of the besieging army, which he assumed 
September, 1793. On November 21st, he became by seniority, the junior 
major of his regiment, but after the fall of Toulon the representatives of 
the government with the army nominated him brigadier general, for his 
valuable services in the siege. He was confirmed January 7th, 1794. 

He was assigned as Chief of Artillery of the Army of Italy, and the 
coast batteries from the Rhone to the Var. He remained with the Army 
of Italy until April, 1795, and planned operations by which that army 
advanced by successive steps from Nice to Savona. He went on leave in 
April, and during a reorganization of the army was placed on waiting 
orders. Having declined a brigade in the Army of the West he was, in 
September, 1795, attached to the War Department and assigned to that 
branch of the topographic department, which had charge of the prepara- 
tion of plans of campaigns for the armies of the Alps and of Italy. 

While on this duty, on October 5th, he was selected by General Bar- 
ras as his second in command of the Army of the Interior to defend the 
central government against the attacks of the sections of Paris. His dis- 
positions for meeting the attack were so skillful that the sections were 
easily repulsed. When Barras gave up the command of the Army of the 
Interior to become a member of the Directory, General Bonaparte was 
made general of division Oct. 20, 1795, and appointed commander in chief 
of that army. 

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On February 23rd he was assigned to the command of the Army of 
Italy because of his service to the government^ in Paris, and because of the 
great strategie ability displayed in the memoirs he had prepared for the 
operations of the armies of the Alps and Italy. 

The principal campaigns planned and directed by him in person were: 

1. The campaign from April, 1796, to April, 1797, against first, the Aus- 
trian and Sardinian armies later, against the Austrian army. The prin- 
cipal battles of this campaign were those of Montenotte^ Dego^ Millesimo^ 
Mondovij Lodi, LonaiOy Castiglione^ BassanOy Arcole and Rivoli, 

2. The campaign in Egypt from May, 1798, when he sailed with a corps 
of 30,000 men from Toulon, until October, 1799, when he returned to France 
with a few of his principal generals. He landed at ^/^^an^rt a, occupied 
Cairo and, with a division of 12,000, marched into Syria as far as Acre. 
He was unsuccessful in the siege of that town because his siege artillery 
sent by sea, was captured by the British fleet. 

3. The campaign of 1800, against the Austrians, in which he personally 
directed the operations of the Reserve Army. He crossed the Alps over 
the Great St. Bernard pass in May, and in June defeated General Melas, 
in the decisive battle of Marengo. After this he turned over the command 
of the army to Massena. 

4. The campaign from, August to December, 1805, against the Austrians 
and Russians; in this he commanded the Grand Army, organized in 1803 
and 1804. He crossed the Rhine toward the end of September and a month 
later forced the surrender of the Austrian army, under General Mack, at 
Ulm. He then moved through Vienna into Moravia and defeated the com- 
bined Austro^Russian army in the decisive battle of Austerlitz^ December 

5. The campaign of 1806 against the Prussians. The Grand Army, which 
had been encamped in the South GermcCn states, was concentrated in 
northern Bavaria about the 1st of October and on the 14th decisively de- 
feated the Prussians in the battles of Jena and Auerstaedt. Napoleon 
commanded in the former, and Davout in the latter. He then moved 
rapidly on Berlin and cut off the retreat of all the Prussians, west of the 
Oder river. 

6. The campaign of 1806-1807 against the Russians. After the destruc- 
tion of the Prussian army, he advanced to the Vistula to seek the Russians. 
In the vicinity of Warsaw he fought the indecisive battles of Pultusk and 
Golymin, about the last of December, 1806. The war was then transferred 
to East Prussia, where he fought the indecisive battle of Eylau in Febru- 
ary, 1807. Finally, in June, 1807, he defeated the Russian general, Ben- 
ningsen in the decisive battle of Friedland. 

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The war in Spain and Portugal, which followed, lasted from November, 
1807, when Marshal Junoi marched across the mountains to Lisbon, until 
the spring of 1814 when Wellington crossed the frontier near Bayonne, 
about the time Paris was captured by the allies. In this war, which ab- 
sorbed a large part of the Grand Army, Napoleon was in the field but a 
short time, from November, 1808, to January, 1809. His operations were 
successful, but not decisive. During the remainder of the time the opera- 
tions were conducted by his principal marshals, Massena, Marmont, Ney 
and SoulU 

7. The campaign of 1809 against Austria. He defeated Archduke Charles 
at Eckmuhl near Ratisbon in April, captured that town and then moved 
along the south bank of the Danube to Vienna. In this vicinity he forced 
a crossing at the island of Lobau and fought the battle of Aspen^ or ^^- 
slingy May 22nd. Too weak to advance, he retired to his island, and 
awaited reinforcements. In July he again crossed in face of the enemy and 
won the decisive battle of Wagram^ followed by that of Znaim. 

8. The campaign of 1812 against Russia. For this campaign, he assem- 
bled an army of 450,000 men, of whom about one-half were French^ and 
the remainder contingents from Austria, Prussia , Saxony j Italy and the 
smaller German states. His front of operations, at the beginning of hos- 
tilities, extended from Riga on the north to Galiciaon the south, a dis- 
tance of 400 miles. At the termination of his advance movement, his cen- 
ter had advanced to Moscow, 600 miles from the Prussian frontier. He 
crossed the Nieman river with his main body in the vicinity of Kovno, 
June 24th, and reached Moscow on September 15th, successfully, but not 
decisively, defeating the Russians at Smolensk and at Borodino, His army 
was now scattered over an immense territory; about 90,000 were at Mos- 
cow; 30,000 Prussians near the mouth of the Dwina river; 50,000 Aus- 
trians and Saxons in Poland and the remainder of his army between 
these corps and Moscow, His whole army had been largely diminished in 
strength by the difficulty of supplying it in a country, which was sparcely 
inhabited and traversed only by very poor roads. After remaining in 
Moscow a month, he was obliged to retreat before the winter weather 
rendered the roads absolutely impassable. The famous retreat bfigan about 
the 20th of October, and early in November severe winter weather set in. 
Without provisions or suitable clothing, harassed by the Russians, and 
suffering from the inclement weather, the army was rapidly transformed 
into a mob of fugitives without formation or discipline^ As the horses 
were the first to suffer from the famine, the troopers soon joined their 
companions on foot and the gunners abandoned their pieces. When the 
^rmy at last reached the Nieman, there was only a rear guard of about 
5,000 men, over half of whom were officers, under arms to check the pur- 
suit The Russians had, however, suffered nearly as much as the French 
from the weather and lack of supplies and were in no condition to pursue 

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9. The campaign of 1813 against the allies. As a result of 1812, the 
Prussians allied themselves with the Russians, who invaded East Prussia, 
while the remnant of the French armj/ gathered its detachments in Ger- 
many and retired to Magdeburg. Napoleon raised a new army in France 
and marched through south Germany to Dresden winning en route the 
battles of Weissenfels and Gros Gorschen. In the spring the allied army 
had approached the Elbe, but was forced by Napoleon to the Oder after 
its defeat at Bautzen; an armistice followed. In August, when hostilities 
were renewed, Austria and Sweden joined the allies. In September Na- 
poleon defeated the allies in the indecisive battle of Dresden ^ but was 
himself decisively defeated by the allies in October at Leipsic and com- 
pelled to fall back to the Rhine. In this campaign he was much embar- 
assed by the action of his Saxon and other allies, who deserted him at crit- 
ical moments. 

10. The campaign of 1814, for the defense of France. About the 1st of 
January the allies were moving upon Paris with three armies. The south- 
ern army moved from Belfort and Strasburg; the central one from the 
vicinity of Metz and the northern one through Holland. The left and 
center were the main armies and were to unite along the line Chalons- 
Troyes and together advance on Paris. These armies numbered together 
about 200,000, that in Holland 60,000, while Napoleon had but 100,000 all 
told. By maneuvering in the space between the Aisne and 6^««^ rivers, 
between Paris and Chalons, he succeeded in separating and checking the cen- 
ter and left columns of the allies until reinforced by the right. His thin line 
wfiks finally broken and Paris capitulated March 29th. A week later he abdi- 
cated. The principal battles of this campaign were Brienne, Roihiere^ 
Champaubert, Mqntmirail^ Vauckamps, Etoges, Mormont^ Montereau, 
Craonne^ Laon^ Champenoise, and Monttnartre, 

11. The campaign of 1815 in Belgium. Napoleon returned from Elba March 
20th, 1815, and by June had organized an army of 200,000 men. The allies organ- 
ized an army of 220,000 men in Belgium; of whom 100,000 were command- 
ed by IVellington and the remainder by Blucher; 150,000 on the middle 
Rhine; 23Cr,000 on the upper Rhine; and 60,000 on the Sardinian frontier. 
Napoleon concentrated an army of 120,000 in northeastern France to oper- 
ate against Wellington and Blucher, and divided his other forces into small 
corps to act defensively against the heads of the other columns. About 
the beginning of June he marched against IVellingtonBud Blucher, who 
were separated, to get in between them and defeat them in detail. He 
was at first successful at Quartre Bras and Ligny and compelled them to 
retreat on what he believed were divergent lines. He pursued Wellington 
with his main body and found him in a strong defensive position at Water- 
loo, He attacked him, and had gained but little success, when 
the approach of the Prussians on his fiank turned what might have been 
an indecisive battle into a decisive defeat and rout. Unknown to Napo- 

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leoH, Blucher had retreated along a line which led towards Waterloo and 
was thus able to assist Wellington, while the force sent by Napoleon in 
pursuit of Blucher, never reached the field. This battle ended Napoleon's 
military career. 

Napoleon abdicated a second time June 21st and shortly thereafter sur- 
rendered to the British fleet. He was sent by the British to Saint Helena, 
where he died. 

Until he became emperor. May, 1804, he was known as and signed 
himself, ^^«a/tfr/^/ after that he was known as, and signed himself. 

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POLITICAL SITUATION,— In 1792, Italy was divided into 
the kingdom of Sardinia with its provinces of Savoy, Nice, Pied- 
mont and Sardinia; the republics of Genoa and Venice; the duchies 
of Parma, Modena and Tuscany; the Austrian province of Milan; 
the Papal states; and the kingdom of Naples. 

In 1796, Austria, Sardinia and Naples were at war with France. 
The dukes of Parma and Modena were under the influence of 
Austria. Because of the violence of the French Revolution, the 
rulers of the other states, although not actively hostile to France,* 
were not friendly. In all these states there was a middle class of 
active French sympathizers. 

TOPOGRAPHIC SITUATION,— The Maritime Alps and the 
Apennine mountain ranges separate the narrow strip of territory 
along the Mediterranean, called the Riviera, from the basin of 
the Po River. The two ranges are separated by a saddle on the 
road from Savona to Cairo whose elevation is only 1,600 feet. All 
roads and trails crossing the Apennines from Savona, Voltri and 
Genoa reach an elevation of 2,500 feet. The Maritime Alps 
increase in elevation from Savona westward and at Col de Tenda 
the road crossing the mountains reaches an elevation of 6,00d feet. 

The Riviera about Nice belonged to the kingdom of Sardinia; 
east of this it belonged to Genoa. 

South of the mountains, all the important towns are on the 
coast and are connected by the road from Nice to Genoa, 125 
miles. This road was in bad condition and the French depended 
largely upon water transportation exposed to capture by the 
British fleet. This road was later improved by Napoleon and 
became the famous Corniche road. All the coast towns had small 

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North of the mountains, the Sardinians had the fortified towns 
of Coni, Mondovi, Ceva, Dego, Acqui, Alessandria, Tortona and 
Novi. The shortest road connecting these towns follows the east 
branch of the Bormida River and near Cairo passes within nine 
miles of Savona. The principal roads connecting the coast with 
the Po valley were those connecting Nice and Coni; Oneglia and 
Albenga with Ceva; Finale and Cairo; Savona and Cairo; Savona 
and Sassello; Voltri and Novi; G^noa and Novi. 

MIUTARY SITUATION.— The war of the French with the 
first coalition began in 1792. In that year, French troops invaded 
the Sardinian provinces of Savoy and Nice and these provinces 
were declared annexed to France. The invading force in Savoy 
jDecame the Army of the Alps and that in Nice became the Army 
of Italy. 

In June 1793, the Army of Italy attacked the Sardinian army 
intrenched in the foothills of the Alps between Nice and Tenda 
and was repulsed. It then retired to the Var and from August to 
December was engaged in the siege of the insurgent fortified town 
of Toulon which had opened its harbor to the British fleet. It 
was here that Napoleon first joined the Army of Italy, as a captain 
of artillery. It was by following a plan suggested by Napoleon 
that the town was finally taken; as reward he was promoted to 
general of brigade in the artillery. 

In 1794, the French drove the Sardinians beyond the Col de 
Tenda and occupied the territory of the republic of (Jenoa as far 
east as Savona. This year Napoleon served in the army as chief 
of artillery and became thbroughly familiar with the mountain 
passes as far east as Genoa. He also suggested some of the plans 
to which the success of the French was due. 

In April 1795, Napoleon was relieved and placed on waiting 
orders. In June, the French were driven out of Savona by the 
Austrians but in November they retook the town and drove the 
Austrians back over the mountains. 

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In September, Napoleon was assigned to that bureau of the 
War Department which dealt with the operations of the field 
armies; he submitted various memoirs on proposed operations 
of the Army of Italy and drew up instructions for the army com- 
mander. In October, he won the gratitude of the government by 
dispersing a Paris mob which threatened the national convention. 

In March 1796, when Gen. Scherer — ^the fifth commander of 
the Army of Italy since its organization — ^requested to be relieved. 
Napoleon was appointed to succeed him. 

FRENCH ARMY.— When Napoleon took command of the 
Army of Italy there were in his territorial department, which 
extended from Savona in Italy to the mouth of the Rhone River 
in France, about 60,000 men present for duty and nearly 25,000 
sick in the hospitals. 

On April 6, he reported his disposable field troops as 45,000 men. 
This agrees with his returns which show about 43,000 men present 
in the field army and 2,000 en route to join it. 

(Jen. Laharpe's infantry division of three brigades formed the 
outpost line covering Savona. One brigade was on the (Jenoa 
road at Voltri with an outpost at Pegli. It was sent to this point 
by the government commissioner with the army who wished to 
intimidate the Genoese and enable the French to purchase supplies 
in Genoa. One brigade was guarding the mountain passes on the 
roads from Savona to Sassello and neighboring points; this brigade 
had a strong outpost at Monte Legino and another at Veraggio. 
One brigade was in the moimtains on the road between Savona 
and Cairo. 

(Jen. Meynier's infantry division of two brigades was in reserve 
in the vicinity of Savona. 

(Jen. Augereau's infantry division of three brigades was at 
Finale and Loano with strong outposts in the mountains. One 
brigade was guarding each road and one in reserve. 

Gen. Serurier's infantry division of two brigades was at Ormea 
and Garessio in the Tanaro valley. 

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These ten brigades had an average strength of 3,600 men or a 
total of about 36,000 men. 

The divisions of Laharpe and Meynier — 18,000 men — ^formed 
an advance guard under the command of Gen. Massena stationed 
at Savona. 

There were two divisions whose combined strength was but 
7,000 men, guarding the Col de Tenda and the passes near the 
sources of the Var River where the mountains were still covered 
with snow. 

The cavalry of the army — 4,500 men — ^under Gen. Stengel was 
on its way from southern France where it had spent the winter. 
It had not all joined. 

Napoleon took command at Nice, the department headquarters, 
March 26, and remained there five days ordering up supplies and 
troops. On April 5, he was at Albenga where he remained five 
days more inspecting the troops in the vicinity and organizing his 
transportation. While here, he learned that the Austrians were 
advancing through Bochetta Pass and on Sassello and Dego. He 
made no change in the disposition of his troops, but cautioned 
his division commanders to be ready to move at a moment's notice, 
with a full supply of ammunition. 

ALLIED ARMY. — The allied army opposed to Napoleon was 
composed of 32,000 Austrians and 17,000 Sardinians. Gen. 
Beaulieu, who had just arrived from the Rhine, was in command, 
though he really exercised command only over the left wing com- 
posed of the Austrian corps of Generals Argenteau and Sebotten- 
dorf — each 14,000 men. The right wing, composed of 17,000 
Sardinians and 4,000 Austrians, was under the Austrian general, 
Colli, who had been attached to the Sardinian army since 1793. 

Argenteau's corps had spent the winter near Alessandria, Acqui 
and Tortona; Sebottendorf's corps at Pavia and other points in 
the province of Milan. Argenteau had five brigades of infantry; 
Sebbottendorf, three brigades of infantry and two of cavalry; 
each infantry brigade numbered about 3,000 men. 

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Colli's troops extended from Coni to Dego. The greater part 
of his force was on his right at Coni and Mondovi guarding the 
direct road from Nice to Turin; two battalions only were at Dego. 
Provera's Austrian brigade was near Millesimo. 

There was also a strong Sardinian force guarding the mountain 
passes between Piedmont and Savoy, from Lake Geneva to Coni. 
It was threatened by the Army of the Alps under Kellerman 

In a letter to the Directory, April 6, Napoleon estimates the 
Austrian army as 34,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, and the 
Sardinian army as 45,000. This latter estimate includes the force 
in front of Kellerman, which Napoleon thought he might be com- 
pelled to meet should he advance on Turin. 

In numerical strength the two armies actually opposed to each 
other were approximately equal. The French army had the advan- 
tage of position, unless the allies concentrated near Cairo. The 
French army also had the advantage of a single commander who 
was familiar with the coimtry and had been for two years studying 
his problem. The allies had two almost independent commanders, 
the senior of whom was unfamiliar with the topography of the 
country and had had no time to make a thorough study of past 
operations in this territory. 

PLANS. — The aim of the French government had for some 
time been to destroy the alliance between Sardinia and Austria. 
As France was unwilling to restore to Sardinia the provinces of 
Nice and Savoy, this could only be effected by a decisive victory 
over the Sardinian troops. Napoleon's predecessor — Gen. Scherer 
— ^had been repeatedly directed to attack the Sardinian left flank 
near Ceva, but in his opinion the condition of the army did not 
warrant such a movement. It was difficult to subsist the Army of 
Italy because of its position and the wretched condition of the 
French system of administration and supply. The army had not 
been paid and its supply of clothing, arms, ammunition and equip- 
ment were very defective. Napoleon had been able to partially 

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remedy some of these defects, but he knew that his only ultimate 
hope lay in crossing the mountains and living on the enemy's terri- 
tory. He thoroughly understood the policy of his government 
and that while Austria was the real enemy to be defeated it was 
very desirable to detach Sardinia from the alliance. 

Beaulieu was directed by his government to confer with Colli 
and decide on an aggressive campaign. 

At a conference between the allied commanders, Colli advocated 
a concentration at Cairo; but no definite plan was agreed upon. 
Without informing Colli, Beaulieu later decided to attack the 
French force at Voltri, by moving two mixed brigades — ^7,500 
men — ^in two columns from Novi; one via Bochetta Pass and the 
other via Campofredda. 

At the same time, Argenteau was to move from Acqui on Savona 
with 8,000 men. 

Beaulieu would thus cut off Napoleon's supplies from Genoa 
and might compel him to evacuate Savona. He assumed that 
Napoleon would, like most of his predecessors, remain on the 
defensive as his army could hardly be in a condition to take the 

CAMPAIGN. — ^As early as April 5, Massena learned of the 
approach of the Austrians on the roads to Genoa, Voltri, Sassello 
and Dego. As Napoleon gave him no orders, he strengthened the 
brigade at Voltri and the post on Monte Legino. 

April 10. — On the afternoon of April 10, Beaulieu attacked the 
French force at Voltri. As the French were expecting him, they 
made a good defense and with little loss retired that night towards 

Argenteau was expected to attack Monte Legino and the French 
posts, if any, on the Sassello road, but as his troops were not in 
position he deferred the attack to the following day. 

April 11. — Beaulieu remained at Voltri, April 11, awaiting a 
report from Argenteau. Argenteau advanced with a force of 
3,500 to 4,000 men on the Montenotte road to Monte Legino, sent 

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a brigade on the Sassello road and posted two battalions near 
Montenotte to protect his communications. He made three 
unsuccessful assaults on the French force advantageously placed 
on Monte Legino. This force was orginally 1,100 men but was 
reinforced to 1,500 during the day. That night, Argenteau biv- 
ouacked near Montenotte in front of the French works and sent 
to Dego for two guns as he had no artillery. The Austrian brigade 
at Sassello was not engaged. 

Napoleon was at Savona this day and learned from his aide^ 
Marmont — the particulars of the attack at Voltri, and that the 
French troops had retreated. He also learned from the chief of 
brigade — Rampon — ^that the Austrians had made several assaults 
on Monte Legino and, although repulsed, they still remained in 
his front. He at once sent Rampon a reinforcement of 700 men 
and four guns and directed him to hold on until he could be further 

That night he issued the following orders: — Laharpe with two 
of his brigades to move on Monte Legino and attack Argenteau 
in the morning; Massena with Laharpe's third brigade to move 
along the crest of the mountains to Montenotte and get in Argen- 
teau's rear; Meynier to move with his two brigades to Carcare; 
Augereau to leave one brigade at Bardinetto to report to Serurier, 
and with the other two to move on Carcare. Meynier and Auger- 
eau were to prevent Colli from sending any troops eastwards; 
Serurier was directed to keep Colli busy at Ceva without compro- 
mising his own troops. 

April 12. — Beaulieu, becoming uneasy, started a brigade for 
Sassello to secure contact with Argenteau. The latter was attacked 
on the morning of the 12th near Montenotte by Laharpe, defeated, 
and pursued towards Acqui. The battalions he had posted to 
cover his line of retreat were defeated by Massena who struck 
them in succession and they retreated towards Dego. Massena 
then marched to Cairo. 

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Napoleon spent the day at Altare on the Savona-Carcare road 
but established his headquarters at Cairo that night. 

April 13. — Beaulieu, informed of Argenteau's defeat, withdrew 
from Voltri in order to reach Acqui and cover his line of retreat. 

Augereau, with Meynier's division and part of his own, attacked 
Gen. Provera who was on the ridge east of MiUesimo with 4,000 
men. Provera was defeated and while his main body retreated 
towards Ceva, Provera himself with about 1,000 men took refuge 
in the ruined castle of Cossaria, perched on a high hill. Napoleon 
was with Augereau and directed several unsuccessful assaults on 
this work. Towards evening he returned to Cairo leaving Auger- 
eau to invest the castle. 

Massena reconnoitered Dego and Laharpe joined him at Cairo 
during the day. 

April 14. — ^Augereau called on Provera to surrender, which the 
latter was compelled to do early in the morning of the 14th, as 
his men were without food, water or ammunition. 

Meynier now reported to Massena at Cairo with one brigade. 
With Laharpe's division and Meynier's brigade Massena attacked 
and captured Dego. The Austrians who escaped fled to Acqui; 
Meynier's brigade was left to hold Dego and Laharpe was ordered 
to cooperate with Augereau on the 15th. 

Knowing that Beaulieu could not assume the offensive with 
his two Austrian corps. Napoleon decided to capture Ceva if 

April 15. — ^Arg^iteau's brigade at Sassello had not been engaged 
but also retired to Acqui. The brigade sent by Beaulieu to Sassello 
reached there after Argenteau's command had been defeated and 
the French had gone to Cairo. This brigade moved through 
Montenotte to Dego and reached there early on the morning of 
the 15th. 

The troops of Meynier's brigade were out of hand on the morn- 
ing of the 15th being engaged in looting the town. The Austrians 

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without much difficulty retook the town and the French fled to 

Napoleon at once recalled Laharpe, and in the afternoon of the 
same day the divisions of Laharpe and Meynier, under the 
supervision of Massena, recaptured the town. The Austrians 
fled to Acqui. 

Napoleon now became uneasy about Savona in which he had 
left a small garrison, and ordered Laharpe to march to Sassello 
the following day to ascertain if any Austrians were marching 
on Savona. 

Massena took temporary command of Meynier's division as 
the latter was ill. 

April 16. — Laharpe went to Sassello while Massena remained 
near Dego. Augereau attacked Colli at Montezemolo and was 
repulsed. That night Colli fearing that Serurier, who was advan- 
cing, would attack him in rear, retired to the Corsaglia River 
leaving a garrison in the citadel of Ceva. 

April 17. — ^Laharpe returned to Dego and reported that there 
were no Austrians in the mountains. Massena was then sent to 
San Benedetto on the Belbo to guard that flank, while Augereau 
and Serurier deployed in front of CoUi's position on the Corsaglia. 

April 18. — Serurier and Augereau made an unsuccessful attack 
on Colli on the Corsaglia River. 

April 19. — Leaving a battaUon at Dego, Laharpe moved to 
San Benedetto while Massena moved into the attacking line in 
front of Colli. Augereau moved down the river to cross and attack 
Colli in flank. 

Without waiting another attack. Colli fell back to Mondovi. 

April 20. — ^After a desperate battle. Colli was defeated by 
Massena and Serurier at Mondovi. Augereau remained behind 
the Corsaglia and Laharpe at San Benedetto. 

Armistice of Cherasco. — ^After the battle of Mondovi, Napo- 
leon moved rapidly to the Stura River to threaten an advance 
on Turin. On April 23, Colli requested an armistice. Napoleon 

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consented, provided it was preliminary to peace and the fortresses 
of Coni, Ceva and Tortona were at once surrendered to him. 

These conditions being accepted, there was no more fighting 
between the Sardinians and the French, and on April 28, the arm- 
istice was signed and the Sardinians deserted their allies. Besides 
the three fortresses mentioned the French were to occupy the 
country limited on the north by the Stura River to Cherasco, the 
Tanaro River to the Po, and the Po to Parma. They were to use 
the road via Coni, Ceva, Acqui and Tortona as their line of com- 
munication through Sardinia under the protection of Sardinian 

Until the evacuation of Ceva, Napoleon was worried about his 
communications which ran through Savona. After the road 
through Ceva to Ormea was opened, Savona became of small 

When the campaign closed, Laharpe was at San Benedetto, 
Augereau at Alba, Massena at Cherasco, Serurier at Fossano and 
the Col de Tenda brigades were marching on Coni. 

It will be observed that on April 21, ten days after Beaulieu's 
attack on Acqui, Napoleon had solved the first part of his problem 
by defeating the Sardinians to such an extent that they were 
willing to desert their allies. 


1. A French army that occupies the crest of the Apennines 
covers the Riviera as far as Genoa; but since the army is only 
two to five leagues distant from the sea, its line can be penetrated 
in a single day. It would then find itself imable to rally to make 
its retreat. On account of its little depth, this field of operations 
is bad and even dangerous. 

Had Beaulieu studied the topographic features, he would not 
have marched on Voltri to cover Genoa, but would have concen- 
trated his army at Acqui and Cairo. From those places he could 
have advanced in three strong columns of 15,000 each; the left by 

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Montenotte and Savona, the right over the mountains to Finale. 
The French would have been obliged to fall back from Genoa and 
Voltri to guard the points attacked. The Austrian general would 
have operated on groimd wholly to his advantage, since he could 
in a single day cut the French army in two, force it back on the 
sea and ruin it. 

2. After the battle of Montenotte, the Austrians were compelled 
to rally near Acqui; the Sardinians should at once have moved to 
Dego to form their right wing. It was an error to assume that to 
protect Turin it was necessary for them to remain on the direct 
road to that place. If the two armies had assembled at Dego, 
they would have thoroughly covered Turin since they would have 
been on the flank of the road leading to that capital. Had Beaulieu 
had a few days to rally his troops, it would have been still better 
to concentrate the armies at Ceva, since then they would have 
been near the French line of communications. With a strong 
allied army at Ceva, the French would not have dared to invade 
Milan. Combined, the two armies were stronger than the French; 
separated, they were lost. 

3. When the French army united to attack Colli, Laharpe was 
left to watch Beaulieu who was rallying his army at Acqui. Appar- 
ently the natural position for this corps was Dego, on the direct 
line to Savona. Napoleon preferred San Benedetto, farther from 
Acqui than Dego. From San Benedetto, Laharpe could support 
the main French army, if necessary, and also take Beaulieu in 
flank and rear if he decided to advance. It must be observed 
that at this time the road through Ormea was open to the French 
and that the road through Savona was not their only line of com- 

4. At Mondovi the divisions of Massena and Serurier only made 
the attack. This was to leave Augereau on the same side of the 
Corsaglia River as Laharpe in order to support him should he be 
attacked by Beaulieu. 

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CAMPAIGN CONTINUED.— After the armistice with the 
Sardinians, Napoleon placed French garrisons in Coni, Ceva and 
Mondovi, and prepared to move against Beaulieu before the latter 
should recover from his defeat. 

He reorganized his army and endeavored to bring it imder dis- 
cipline. As the troops were illy clad, without pay, and on half 
rations when he took command, he had been rather lenient to 
infractions in discipline and at Dego and Mondovi suffered partial 
reverses because of desertions of men from their commands to 
loot. By requisitions on the conquered country, he now clothed, 
fed, and paid his army, as well as his defective system of supply 
would permit, and issued strict orders against looting. This evil 
was never entirely eradicated. 

Gen. Meynier having been assigned to the command of the 
fortress of Tortona, Gen. Massena assumed permanent command 
of his division. A new advance guard was organized by forming 
three battalions of the grenadiers and attaching to them a brigade 
of four regiments of cavalry. This was commanded by Dalle- 
magne, who had reported from the Col de Tenda division. Gen. 
Stengel having been killed at Mondovi, Gen. Kilmaine became 
chief of cavalry. With reinforcements received from Col de Tenda 
and the soldiers returning to their commands from the hospitals, 
etc.. Napoleon now had a field army of 45,000 men, of whom 5,000 
were assigned as garrisons of the Sardinian fortresses. 

The Sardinians having withdrawn from the alliance. Gen. 
Beaulieu retired from Acqui, captured the fortified town of Valenza 
from his former allies, and crossed to the north bank of the Po. 
Napoleon had inserted a secret clause in the armistice of Cherasco 
giving the French the right to cross the Po at Valenza, which was 
probably communicated to Beaulieu. 

Napoleon now decided to cross the Po at Piacenza by surprise. 
To this end, on May 1, he ordered his advance guard, his cavalry 
and Laharpe to Tortona via Acqui. Augereau and Massena were 
ordered to follow as soon as the roads were clear. Serurier was to 

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move down the north bank of the Tanaro to a point opposite 
Valenza, to deceive Beaulieu. 

On May 5, the advance guard was near Montebello, the cavahy, 
Laharpe, Augereau and Massena close behind. 

On May 6, active operations began and on the 7th the advance 
guard, the cavahy, and Laharpe reached the vicinity of Piacenza 
where, by means of boats and a flying bridge, they crossed the 
river as rapidly as possible and drove away an Austrian cavalry 
patrol that was guarding the river bank. 

The French at once intrenched themselves on the north bank, 
and when a force of 5,000 Austrians moved down from Pavia to 
attack them, they were enabled to defeat the Austrians and drive 
them in the direction of Pizzighittone. In these operations Gen. 
Laharpe was accidentally killed by his own men. 

Augereau f oimd a ferry above Piacenza that was not guarded 
and crossed at that point. Massena crossed at Piacenza after La- 
harpe, but was not on the north bank until the morning of the 9th. 

That day the divisions of Massena and Augereau, preceded by 
the advance guard and cavahy, moved towards Lodi to intercept 
Beaulieu, who was retreating via Pavia and Lodi. Laharpe's 
division remained in position watching the Austrians at Pizzi- 

On May 10, the French troops reached Lodi and foimd that 
Beauheu had crossed the Adda to the east bank leaving a battalion 
in the town. This battalion crossed the river as soon as the French 
appeared. The wooden bridge, 250 yards long, had not been 
destroyed; but a rear guard — ^twelve battalions and fourteen guns 
— ^had been left by Beaulieu to defend it. Beaulieu himself had 
followed the Adda southwards to Cremona. 

Napoleon at once established a number of guns on the west 
bank at Lodi and the greater part of the day was spent in a harm- 
less artillery duel. Late in the afternoon Napoleon decided to 
storm the bridge, but first sent his cavalry to cross at a ford 
higher up. 

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The storming column, consisting of a battalion of light infantry- 
followed by his grenadiers, formed behind the walls of the town 
and suddenly advanced out on the bridge. Their advance was 
soon checked by the Austrian artillery; and, to carry the column 
forward, Generals Massena, Berthier, Dallemagne, and Chief of 
Brigade Lannes, placed themselves at the head of the column. 
When the column was checked a second time, the light infantry 
leaped into the shallow river and engaged the batteries and 
Austrian infantry. This enabled the grenadiers to cross the bridge 
and attack the Austrian rear guard. The Austrians retreated with 
a loss of about 500 men and a few guns. 

The theatrical storming of the bridge at Lodi had a great moral 
effect both on the French and the Austrian soldiers. 

The Austrian troops were pursued by the advance guard and 
Augereau as far as Crema and Cremona, while the cavalry went 
northward to ascertain whether any other Austrian troops were 
retreating to Brescia. 

The advance guard and Laharpe's division were then posted 
along the Adda, and Serurier's division at Piacenza, which it had 
reached on the 10th. Augereau moved to Pavia and Mass- 
ena to Milan. 

Napoleon entered Milan with Massena on May 16, about a 
month after the battle of Montenotte. Here he started the siege 
of the citadel, then held by 2,000 Austrian troops left by Beaulieu, 
and organized a new government. 

On May 20, he learned that peace was finally signed between 
Sardinia and France and he felt able to again advance, as his 
communications were secure and he could coimt on reinforcements 
from the Army of the Alps. 

Augereau was directed to move to Milan, Massena to Lodi, and 
Serurier to Cremona; the three divisions then moved to Brescia. 
The cavalry and advance guard preceded the columns; Laharpe's 
division moved with Massena's central column. Gen. Despinoy, 

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who had been on Napoleon's staff, was assigned to the command 
of Milan. 

Beaiilieu, who had retired to the fortress of Mantua, was thus 
obliged to withdraw his army from the vicinity of that fortress 
to defend the upper Mincio and protect his communication with 
the Tyrol in Austria. 

From Brescia, Napoleon, with his advance guard, cavalry, 
Massena and Serurier moved on Valeggio, while Augereau moved 
on Peschiera. When Kilmaine, who temporarily commanded both 
the cavalry and advance guard, forced the Mincio on May 30, at 
Valeggio where it was fordable, Beaulieu retreated to Rivoli and 
then made his way to Roveredo in the Tyrol. A strong Austrian 
garrison was left in Mantua. 

This closed the campaign of Napoleon and Beaulieu, which had 
lasted a little less than two months. 


1. To defend the passage of the Po, Beaulieu took a position 
near Valenza. This could fulfil his object only when opposing an 
army that was incapable of maneuvering. He should have placed 
himself astride the Po, near Stradella, where he should have con- 
structed two bridges with strong bridgeheads. This would have 
prevented the French from moving down the south bank of the 
Po and compelled them to cross it above the bridges. The Aus- 
trian general would then have had the advantageous lines of the 
Po and Ticino as lines of defense. 

2. It is said that Napoleon should have crossed the Po at Cre- 
mona instead of Piacenza; he would then have turned the Adda 
as well. This is wrong; his movement was already an audacious 
one. To have still further extended his army was to tempt the 
enemy to attack its parts in detail. Furthermore, at Piacenza, 
which is on the south bank, it was more probable that boats would 
be found for the crossing than at Cremona, which is on the north 

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3. It is said that Napoleon should have advanced at once after 
Lodi, for he would then have found Mantua unprepared for de- 
fense. Such a movement would have been hazardous. There 
were fortified places in rear, and governments to be established 
in the province abandoned by the Austrians. The French were 
as active and rapid in their movements as could be expected; 
more would have been impossible. In the six days the army rested 
in Lombardy, it doubled its effective power by increasing its artil- 
lery, remoimting its cavalry, and rallying its stragglers. 

4. Instead of attempting to defend the line of the Mincio, which 
is weak, Beaulieu should either have assembled his whole army in 
the district south of Mantua and drawn his supplies from the 
country south of the Po, or he should have assembled it about 
Gavardo or further north. This would have prevented the French 
army from crossing the Mincio. 

If he felt too weak to do either, he should have assembled it on 
the plateau of Rivoli without entering Peschiera. The precedent 
he established in violating the neutrality of Venice by occupying 
this fortress compelled the Venetians to yield the fortresses of 
Peschiera, Verona, and Legnago to the French. 


AUGEREAU, Pierre Francois.— Bom in Paris 1757. He enlisted in the 
Neapolitan cavalry and was a sword master in 1792 when he returned to France 
and entered the volunteers. He rose rapidly and in 1794 was a general of 
division. In 1804 he was made a marshal of France. He served in the Army 
of the Pyrenees, in the Army of Italy, 1796-7; commanded the Army of the 
Rhine-Moselle, 1798; the Army of Holland, 1800, and as commander of the 
VII. corps took part in the campaigns of Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau and Friedland. 
Served in Spain in 1809, and under Napoleon in 1812-13-14. He hastened to 
join the Bourbons in 1814 and his services were declined by Napoleon upon his 
return from Elba and by the Bourbons on the second restoration. He died 
in 1816. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Castiglione. 

"Strong character, courage, firmness, energy, experience in warfare, liked by 
his men and is lucky." — ^Napoleon August 14, 1796. 

BERTHIER, Alexandre.— Bom in 1753 and entered the general staff in 1770. 
Served as chief of staff of several different armies of the revolution before becom- 
ing Chief of Staff of the Army of Italy. In 1799 he became minister of war and 

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in 1800 the nominal commander of the Reserve Army. In 1804 he became a 
marshal of France. He accompanied Napoleon in all his campaigns as chief 
of staff until his abdication in 1814. He then supported the Bourbons and 
retired from France during the Hundred Days. He was killed somewhat myste- 
riously during that period. He was one of the French officers who served under 
Rochambeau in America. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Valengin, 
Prince of Wagram and Sovereign Prince of Neuchatel. 

"Talent, energy, courage, character. Is ambitious." — Napoleon August 
14, 1796. 

DALLEMAGNE, Claudius. — ^Born in 1754. Entered army as volunteer in 
1773. General of brigade 1793 ; general of division 1797 ; died 1810. Performed 
distinguished service at Lodi, Lonato, Castiglione, Lavis and Mantua. In 
1798 invested the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein on the Rhine and forced its capitu- 
lation. Senator in 1806 and commandant of 25th military division in 1809. 

KILMAINE, Charles Edward.— Bom in Ireland 1751. Entered French 
service in 1774; adjutant in 1778; captain in 1778; lieut. col. in 1792; colonel in 
1793; general of brigade in 1793; general of division in 1794. Died in Paris 
in 1799. Served in northern armies until 1795; served in Armies of Alps and 
Italy until 1798, then temporary commander of the Army of England. 

"Especially good as commander of a detached body in any operation requiring 
discretion, ability and calmness." — Napoleon at St. Helena. 

LAHARPE, Amedee Emmanuel. — ^Bom in Switzerland 1754. Forced to 
leave his country an account of liberal views, entered French army and became 
chief of battalion of volunteers 1792; general of brigade for services at Toulon 
1793; general of division 1795; was killed accidentally by his own troops at 
Fombio, Italy, in 1796. From 1793 to 1796 he served in the Army of Italy. 

"An officer of distinguished bravery. A grenadier in heart and stature. 
Beloved by his troops whom he led with intelligence." — Napoleon at St. Helena. 

MASSENA, Andre. — Bom in Nice in 1758 and enlisted in the infantry in 
1775. In 1789 he left the service, having reached the grade of non-commis- 
sioned officer. He entered the volunteers and was elected chief of battalion in 
1792. In 1793 he became general of brigade and general of division, and in 
1804 marshal of France. His service was with the Army of Italy from 1792 to 
1797. In 1798 he commanded the French corps at Rome and in 1799 the Army 
of Switzerland. In 1800 and again in 1805-6 he commanded the Army of Italy. 
In the Friedland campaign he commanded the right wing of the army about 
Warsaw. He took part in the campaign of 1809 on the Danube and in 1810 
was sent to Spain and Portugal where he remained until the summer of 1811. 
After his unsuccessful campaign in Spain, Napoleon refused to give him a field 
command. He took service under the Bourbons and took no part in the affairs 
of the Hundred Days. He lost favor with the Bourbons because he was a 
member of the court-martial which refused to try Marshal Ney. He died in 
1817. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Rivoli and Prince of Essling. 

"Active, indefatigable; has boldness, military instinct and promptness in 
deciding." — ^Napoleon August 14, 1796. 

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SERURIER, Jean Matthien.— Bom 1742. Entered army 1760, major 1789, 
general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795, marshal 1804. Served in 
Hanover 1760, in Poland 1762, in Corsica 1768, in Army of Italy 1792-1799. 
Governor of Invalides and commandant of National Guard under Consulate 
and Empire but was not in the field. Did not serve under Louis XVIII., but 
served during the Hundred Days. Died 1819. 

"Fights like a soldier, assumes no responsibility, firm, has a poor opinion of 
his men." — Napoleon August 14, 1796. 

STENGEL, Henri. — ^Bavarian who entered French service in 1762 ; first 
lieutenant 1765 ; captain 1769 ; major 1788 ; general of brigade 1792 ; 
general of division 1794. Served in the northern armies until 1796. Killed 
at Mondovi 1796. 

"Adroit, intelligent, alert; was a true general of outposts, collecting all mili- 
tary and topographic information without being directed; combined the quali- 
ties of youth with the experience of age." — Napoleon at St. Selena. 


BEAULIEU, Jean Pierre de. — Bom in Belgium in 1725 and'entered the army 
in 1743. Served as a company officer in the Seven Years'^ War, 1756-1763. 
In 1789 he became a brigade commander in the Austrian army, a division 
commander in 1790, and served with distinction against the French in Belgium 
from 1792 to 1795. He retired in 1796 and died in 1819. 

COLLI-MARCHEI, Baron Michele Angelo Alessandro. — ^Bom in Piedmont, 
Italy, 1738, and entered the Austrian service in 1756. He was a company 
officer until 1768, a field officer until 1787; attained the rank of division 
commander in 1793. He was in the Sardinian army 1793-1796, and later 
served in the Papal and Neapolitan armies. He died in 1808. 


Beaulieu — General in Command. 
Brigades Battalions Squadrons 












There were also 13 squadrons of Neapolitan troops serving with Sebot- 

Total, 35 battalions, 33 squadrons, 28,000 men. 

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General in Chief, Bonaparte. 

Aides de Camp, Murat, Junot, Marmont, Lemarrois, Louis Bonaparte. 

Chief of Staff, Berthier, General of Division; Assistant Chief of Staff, Vignolle, 
Adjutant General; Chief of Artillery, Dujard^ General of Division; 
Chief Commissaire, Chauvet. 

Generals of 

Generals of 



r Laharpe 
. Meynier 





















Total present in field army, 



Coast Divisio 



Total present, 


Sick in hospit 



The organization of the divisions of Augereau and Serurier was somewhat 
modified before the 11th, since Napoleon mentions Gens. Rusca, Fiorella and 
MioUis as brigade commanders in these divisions. The best authorities now 
agree that on the 10th of April Napoleon had in his four leading divisions 
between 40,000 and 41,000 men, of whom 35,000 were infantry, and of the 
remainder two-thirds cavalry and one-third artillery. 

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THE ITALIAN QUADRILATERAL.— The fortresses of Verona 
and Legnago on the Adige River and those of Peschiera and 
Mantua on the Mincio River form the Italian Quadrilateral. 
Legnago and Peschiera were small fortifications designed prin- 
cipally as bridgeheads and not requiring large garrisons. Verona 
was a large walled town lying on both sides of the Adige and had 
several detached forts. It was a bridgehead of great value as it 
covered several bridges, had a citadel, and was capable of strong 
defense. Mantua was a large walled town on the west bank of 
the Mincio but as a fortress it owed its value to its peculiar situa- 
tion. The Mincio here forms a lake which almost encircles the 
town and leaves only a small part of the perimeter to be defended. 
The east bank of the Mincio was connected with the town by two 
long bridges and causeways. The one running due north from 
Mantua terminated in a permanent fort — ^the citadel of Mantua — 
which formed a strong bridgehead. The other was also covered 
by a permanent bridgehead. The southwestern face of the city 
was accessible by land but was covered by strong fortifications. 

The Adige River between Verona and Legnago is a serious 
obstacle; being unfordable, very swift and over 400 feet wide. 
The Mincio although as wide as the Adige is fordable in the sum- 
mer months and is not a serious obstacle. 

The principal east and west roads through the Quadrilateral 
are the Verona-Peschiera and the Legnago-Mantua roads. On 
the former, Brescia is thirty and Peschiera seventeen miles west 
of Verona; Villanova is thirteen and Vicenza is thirty miles east 
of Verona. On the latter road Cremona. is forty and Marcaria 
thirteen miles west of Mantua; Legnago is thirty and Padua 
seventy miles east of Mantua. 

An Austrian army entering Italy from the north, passes the 
Alps by Brenner Pass and reaches Trent on the Adige River. An 
Austrian army entering Italy from the east, passes through the 
plain between the mountains and the Adriatic and reaches the 

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Brenta River near Cittadella. If armies are moving into Italy by 
both lines simultaneously they may when they reach the Brenta 
be concentrated either at Trent or Cittadella and advance on the 
Quadrilateral by any of the various roads shown on the map. 

From Trent to Bassano where the river emerges from the moun- 
tains is a distance of sixty miles. Cittadella is ten miles from 
Bassano, forty-five from Verona, and one hundred from Legnago 
via Padua. 


From Trent the principal road is that along the east side of the 
Adige which follows the bank of the river to Verona — ^fifty-five 
miles. This road is most easily blocked at the gorge of the river 
just below Rivoli and sixteen miles from Verona; the French later 
constructed a fort at this gorge on the east side of the river. 
Roveredo is the principal town on this road, being the center of 
a network of roads. Between Roveredo and Trent the road and 
river run through the gorge of Calliano. 

All the roads between the Adige and Lake Garda start from the 
Roveredo-Riva road and unite at the plateau of Rivoli. One 
follows the west bank of the river to a point above Rivoli where on 
account of the gorge it ascends the plateau — three or four hundred 
feet above the river — and runs to Castelnovo. The two others 
are inferior roads; one along the lake shore and the other in the 
valley east of Monte Baldo. The latter passes through the defile 
of Corona. 

West of Lake Garda the valley of the Chiese River may be 
reached by road either from Trent or from Roveredo. The roads 
unite at Storo. Along Lake Idro there is a single road following 
a narrow shelf at Rocca d'Anfo. Below Lake Idro one road runs 
to Brescia which is ninety miles from Trent; one follows the river, 
passing through Gavardo, with a branch running to Salo on Lake 
Garda. There was no road between Salo and Riva along the west 
shore of Lake Garda. 

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The road from Trent to Lake Idro passes the divide between 
the Sarca and the Chiese at an elevation of 2,700, feet and that 
from Riva to Lake Idro over a divide 2,500 feet in elevation. Lake 
Idro itself has an elevation of 1,600 feet. The moimtain ranges 
inclosing the Adige, Lake Garda and the Chiese all have summits 
whose elevation exceeds 7,000 feet. 

LAKE GARDA. — Lake Garda is the largest of the lakes of 
northern Italy being thirty-four miles long, and eleven miles wide 
at its broadest part. Sailing vessels on the lake formed the usual 
means of transport. 


MIUTARY SITUATION.— After the retreat of Beauleau, Gen. 
Sauret reported to Napoleon to replace Gen. Laharpe and was 
assigned to the command of the troops west of Lake Garda. Gen. 
Vaubois also reported with a division from the Army of the Alps. 

To Massena was assigned the task of covering the besieging 
forces at Mantua. With Sauret's division of 4,000 men he was to 
guard the roads west of Lake Garda, and with his own division 
increased to 15,000 men he was to hold the space between Lake 
Garda and the Adige River as far south as Ronco. A French 
garrison was placed in Verona. 

The rest of the troops were to drive the Austrians — 10,000 men 
— who were encamped around Mantua across the Mincio into the 
fortress where they were to be watched by Serurier assisted by Kil- 
maine while Augereau guarded the Adige above and below Legnago. 
In order to reduce the citadel and fortress of Mantua, orders were 
sent to Coni, Nice and other points for siege artillery. 

During the month of May, Napoleon had made terms with the 
Dukes of both Parma and Modena by which they agreed to make 
large contributions for the support of the army. As it would be 
some time before the Austrian army could again take the field, 
he determined to utilize this time in forcing the other powers of 
Italy to make peace. 

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On June 5, at Brescia, he signed an agreement with the repre- 
sentatives of the King of Naples. The following day he started 
via Milan for Tortona and from that point arranged matters with 

While at Tortona he directed Augereau to march with a part of 
his division on Bologna, and Vaubois to march with his division 
via Modena on Leghorn. 

At Bologna, Jime 23, he came to an agreement with the repre- 
sentatives of the Pope, and on Jime 27 visited Vaubois at Leghorn 
to adjust matters in Tuscany. Having received information that 
a new Austrian army was being assembled in Trent to relieve 
Mantua, he now hastened back to his army and directed Augereau 
to recross the Po and return to his position on the Adige. 

On June 30, the citadel of Milan surrendered to Gen. Despinoy 
and he was directed to leave a small garrison under Gen. Sahuguet 
and join the army with three demibrigades. 

On July 6, Napoleon reported to his government that Gen. 
Wurmser, the new Austrian commander, was at Trent with an 
army of 49,000 regulars. He gave the strength of his own army as 
44,000 men. In round niunbers Massena had 15,000; Sauret, 
4,500; Augereau, 5,000; Despinoy, 5,500; Kilmaine, 2,000; Seru- 
rier, 10,000. About 2,000 of Despinoy's division, not included 
above, were at Bergamo. 

Sauret's troops were at Salo, Gavardo and Desenzano and a 
small detachment at Brescia. Massena had outposts at Torri, 
Corona and in the valley of the Adige, a strong reserve at Rivoli, 
a garrison in Verona, and a demibrigade along the river below the 
city. Despinoy had one demibrigade on the Adige between Mas- 
sena and Augereau and another in Peschiera. Augereau occupied 
Legnago and guarded the river above and below. Kilmaine with 
the cavalry reserve was near Villafranca. 

Napoleon at this time believed the roads west of Lake Garda 
impracticable for a large force and expected the Austrians to force 

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the gap between the Adige and Lake Garda or attempt to cross 
that river below Verona. 

During the month of July, Napoleon tried unsuccessfully to 
capture Mantua by surprise, employing boats to take his men 
across the lake which surrounded the fortress. On July 18, the 
siege guns having arrived, the first parallel was opened and the 
chief engineer promised to reduce the place in twenty days. The 
siege was however interrupted by Gen. Wurmser. 

CAMPAIGN. — In the latter part of July, Gen. Wurmser moved 
out from Trent leaving garrisons in the Tyrol. 

Wurmser's plan was to attack the French line in three columns. 
A column of four mixed brigades — 18,000 men — under Gen. 
Quasdanovich, was to move down via Lake Idro to attack the 
French posts west of Lake Garda. A central column of seven 
brigades — 24,000 men — commanded by himself, was to move 
down the Adige and on each side of Monte Baldo — 15,000 west 
of the Adige River and 9,000 east of that river. A flying column 
of one brigade of infantry and one brigade of cavalry — 5,000 men — 
under Gen. Meszaros, was to move via the Brenta valley and 
Vicenza to secure Verona and Legnago the minute they were 
evacuated by the French. 

July 29. — Early in the morning of July 29, Wurmser's central 
column attacked Joubert's brigade of Massena's division at 
Corona; and, though reinforced, the French outpost line was, 
during the day, forced back to Rivoli. Sauret was attacked by 
one brigade at Salo and was compelled to retreat to Desenzano. 
A second Austrian brigade defeated the French force at Gavardo 
which fell back to Salo and took refuge in an old castle where it 
was invested. The other Austrian brigades moved on Brescia. 

Napoleon was at Brescia in the morning and hastened to Pes- 
chiera. His first orders were for a counter-attack, but this was 
soon abandoned. Despinoy and Kilmaine were ordered to Castel- 
novo to support Massena. Augereau was ordered to retreat to 

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July 30. — On the west side of Lake Garda two Austrian bri- 
gades reached Brescia and one Austrian brigade reached the Chiese 
River at San Marco on the Lonato road. The fourth brigade 
remained at Salo. Wurmser's column was engaged all day in 
concentrating at Rivoli and attacking Massena. Meszaros took 
Verona and Legnago as soon as abandoned by the French. He 
took no active part in the campaign but protected Wurmser's 

Sauret was at Desenzano; Massena was obliged to fall back to 
Castelnovo; Augereau was on the road between Legnago and 
Mantua; Despinoy and Kilmaine at Castelnovo. 

That night Napoleon definitely decided his plan of action, which 
was to make his communications safe, by first attacking the Aus- 
trians west of Lake Garda. Sauret and Despinoy were to recap- 
ture Salo, release the French, and march on Brescia; Massena 
was to abandon the east bank of the Mincio, leaving a small force 
to hold Peschiera and the bridge at Valeggio, and send one demi- 
brigade to Augereau; with the remainder of his troops he was to 
retire to Desenzano; Serurier was to abandon the siege of Mantua 
and send his troops east of the Mincio to join Augereau; with 
those west of the Mincio, he was to fall back to Marcaria and hold 
the crossing; Augereau, reinforced by Kilmaine and by troops 
from Serurier and Massena, was to march for Brescia and recap- 
ture it. 

July 31. — Two of the Austrian brigades west of the Mincio 
moved from Brescia to Montechiaro on the Chiese River; the one 
at San Marco on the Lonato road advanced to Lonato, where it 
attacked Despinoy, defeated him, was in turn defeated by Massena 
and returned to San Marco. The fourth remained at Salo. 

Wurmser advanced from Castelnovo to the Mincio and gave 
orders for the investment of Peschiera. He made no attempt to 
cross the river or to advance on Mantua. 

Sauret made a night march on Salo and relieved the troops that 
had taken refuge in the old castle. He could not march on Brescia, 

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as Napoleon had ordered, since Despinoy had not accompanied 
him. He therefore returned to Desenzano. Despinoy was moving 
to support Sauret, when he was attacked by the Austrians near 

Massena withdrew to Desenzano and in the afternoon marched 
to Lonato to assist Despinoy. 

Augereau and Kilmaine, imder Napoleon, were at Roverbella. 
They covered Serurier while he was withdrawing his troops from 
the besieging lines, destroying his works, and dismounting his 
guns. Serurier with two brigades retired to Marcaria. 

August 1. — Quasdanovich, hearing nothing from Wurmser and 
learning that his brigades had met defeat at Salo and Lonato, 
ordered his three advance brigades to fall back towards Gavardo. 
Wurmser, after leaving a besieging force at Peschiera and a strong 
force at Castelnovo to cover his communications, marched to 

Augereau and Kilmaine under Napoleon with a column of 12,000 
men crossed the Mincio at Goito during the night of July 31- 
August 1, and moved on Brescia, driving the enemy's detachments 
from their front. Sauret and Despinoy joined them at the Chiese. 
The French reached Brescia in the evening of August 1, just as 
the Austrians were evacuating. In passing Castiglione, Augereau 
left a brigade at that place to cover his rear. 

August 2. — Quasdanovich was assembling three brigades at 
Gavardo; the fourth again took possession of Salo. Wurmser was 
at Mantua, completing the destruction of the French besieging 
works and moving their cannon into the fortress. He sent a 
reconnoitering force via Goito towards Brescia to ascertain the 
position of Quasdanovich. 

Massena remained near Lonato and Sauret returned to that 
place; Despinoy remained at Brescia where his troops from Ber- 
gamo joined him. Augereau and Kilmaine moved back to Monte- 
chiaro on the Chiese. 

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That afternoon Napoleon learned that the French brigade at 
Castiglione had retreated before Wurmser's reconnoitering force 
without fighting. Assuming that Wurmser was behind this 
column he was for a time thoroughly discouraged and inclined to 
order a general retreat behind the Adda. He recovered from his 
depression, however, and decided not to retreat. 

He therefore ordered Sauret's division to again make a night 
march from Lonato and retake Salo. Dallemagne, who commanded 
a brigade under Sauret, was to move on Gavardo and cooperate 
with Despinoy, who was to march to the same place from Brescia. 
Augereau and Kilmaine were to advance to Castiglione and hold 
Wurmser should he advance. 

August 3. — Quasdanovich decided to leave a brigade at Gavardo 
and advance with the others to find Wurmser. En route to Lonato 
he struck in succession Despinoy and Dallemagne and drove them 
back. His fourth brigade from Salo reached Lonato via Desen- 
zano and its commander surprised one of Massena's brigades and 
captured part of it. Massena came to the rescue and the Austrian 
brigade was defeated and almost destroyed. Quasdanovich again 
withdrew towards Gavardo. Wurmser advanced with a strong 
force and joined his reconnoitering force at Castiglione, where 
he had an engagement with Augereau and Kilmaine. 

On the morning of the 3d, Sauret's division returned to Salo, 
without passing through Desenzano and in turn invested a part 
of an Austrian fourth brigade. The operations of Despinoy, 
Dallemagne and Massena have been described. In a brilliant 
engagement at Castiglione, Augereau and Kilmaine defeated the 
force that Wurmser had brought to that place. 

That night Napoleon directed Massena to reinforce Saiu-et's 
division and ordered the Austrian communications to be seriously 
threatened both from Salo and Brescia. 

August 4. — Quasdanovich, having lost one of his brigades and 
being threatened from Salo and Brescia, was afraid to advance 
with his whole force but sent a mixed brigade of 2,000 men to 

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find Wurmser. This force almost captured Napoleon when it 
appeared suddenly at Lonato; its commander, however, being 
informed that he was in the presence of the whole French army, 
surrendered his command. When he learned of this loss, Quasda- 
novich ordered his brigades to fall back to Lake Idro. 

Wurmser concentrated his force this day to make a serious 
attack on Augereau. 

That night Napoleon decided that his communications were no 
longer threatened and that he could attack Wurmser with im- 

August 5. — The decisive battle of the campaign took place 
this day at Castiglione, where Wurmser had assembled about 
20,000 men. Napoleon employed in his attack all of his available 
troops — 30,000 men. The division at Salo was the only one 
absent. The two brigades of Serurier's division at Marcaria 
marched to the field and attacked the Austrians in flank and rear. 

Wurmser fought a stubborn battle but was finally compelled 
to retreat across the Mincio. 

August 6. — Massena, followed by Augereau, marched in haste 
to reinforce the French garrison of Peschiera — which was about 
to surrender — and to cross the Mincio in order to cut off Wurmser's 
retreat. Being warned in time, Wurmser decided that night to 
leave part of his troops as a garrison in Mantua and with the 
remainder withdraw to Rivoli and Verona. 

August 8 to 10. — Napoleon ordered Sauret to advance via 
Lake Idro, Massena on Rivoli, and Augereau on Verona. By 
August 10, Sauret was at the junction of the roads north of Lake 
Idro, Massena at Rivoli and Corona, and Augereau at Verona. 
Each of the three columns of Wurmser's army retired over the 
roads on which it advanced. Meszaros stopped at Bassano. 

At the close of this two weeks' campaign. Gen. Despinoy was 
sent to command a fortress in Sardinia and his troops given to 
Gen. Sauret. Gen. Sauret, who was injured during the campaign, 
was later replaced by Gen. Vaubois. Gen. Serurier, who was 

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seriously ill, was replaced by Gen. Sahuguet. Gen. Serurier later 
took the command in Tuscany which had been held by Vaubois. 

With the troops left by Wurmser, the Mantua garrison now 
niunbered five brigades — 15,000 men. 

The French troops were much exhausted by this campaign, 
and it was not until August 24, that the Austrian garrison at 
Mantua was attacked and forced to cross to the west side of the 

As all the siege material and works had been destroyed either 
by the French or the Austrians, Napoleon was compelled to resort 
to investment alone. This however was not sufficiently close to 
cut off all supplies from the south. 


1. The plan of Marshal Wurmser was defective; his three 
columns were separated from each other by two rivers, the Adige 
and the Mincio, by Lake Garda, and by several chains of moun- 

2. Wurmser should have done one of two things : 

First: — He might have advanced with his whole force between 
Lake Garda and the Adige River and taken possession of the 
plateau of Rivoli. To this point he could have brought his artillery 
by the river road. Thus posted, with his right on Lake Garda, his 
left on the Adige, with a front of only three leagues, he would have 
been too powerful for the French army. 

Second: — He might have debouched with his whole army by 
the Chiese on Brescia; the artillery could have taken this route. 

3. In the execution of his plan, he made another mistake, for 
which he paid dearly; it was in losing two days by going to Mantua. 
He should have thrown two bridges over the Mincio out of cannon 
range of Peschiera and promptly crossed this river to join his 
right column at Lonato, Desenzano, or Salo, and thus rapidly 
repaired the defects of his plan. 

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To operate by lines separated from each other is a mistake 
which usually compels one to commit a second. The detached 
column has orders only for the first day; its operations for the 
second day depend on what happens to the main coliunn. It 
therefore either loses time in awaiting further orders or it operates 
by chance. 

It is then a principle that an army should always have its 
columns so united that an enemy cannot get in between them. 

4. The division of Sauret should have had an advance guard 
at Rocca d'Anfo on Lake Idro to reconnoiter the coimtry to the 
north; this would have prevented the surprise of Salo and Brescia. 
These places would then have had twelve hours warning and could 
have been prepared for defense. 

5. Since there is west of Lake Garda but a single practicable 
road for artillery which passes through Rocca d'Anfo, an army 
must pass this defile to reach Salo. Would it not have been better 
to post Sauret at this point and occupy by redoubts, intrench- 
ments, and two armed boats the roads and the lake? It would 
have taken the Austrian right column twenty-four hours to take 
this place, and Brescia, Salo, and army headquarters would have 
been warned of its approach. It must be admitted that this 
division was badly posted, since it did not occupy the position 
which it should have occupied to fulfil its purpose of covering 
the country to the west of Lake Garda. 

6. At Brescia was a hospital and storehouse and only three 
companies in garrison; they were made prisoners of war. Had 
the citadel been put in condition to resist open assault, this would 
not have happened. It was afterwards done, but should have 
been done before. 


DESPINOY, Hyacinthe Francois. — Entered army as cadet 1780, second 
lieutenant 1784, chief of battalion 1793, general of brigade 1793, general of 
division 1800, died 1848. Served in the armies of the North and of the Pyrenees 
1792-1795. Captured the citadel of Milan in 1796 and brevetted general of 

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division. Governor of various fortified towns 1800-1814. In the army under 
the Bourbons until 1830. 

"Without energy or audacity. Is not a natural soldier, is not loved by his 
men, does not lead them into action. Has high principles, a good mind, sound 
political views. A good commander in the interior." — Napoleon August 14, 

SAURET, Pierre Franconin. — Bom in 1742. Entered army as private in 
1757, grenadier 1759, sergeant 1763, ensign 1779, captain 1792, chief of battalion, 
chief of brigade and general of division 1793, died 1812. 

"Good, very good soldier; not sufficient intellect for a general officer; not 
lucky. — Napoleon August 14, 1796. 


WURMSER, Count Jean Pierre de. — Bom in Alsace in 1724 and entered the 
French army in 1745. After two years* service he moved to Vienna, entered 
the Austrian service, and served in the Seven Years' War. Attained the grade 
of division commander in 1779, and in 1787 that of corps commander. Served 
with distinction on the Rhine, 1793-1795. After 1797 he was made field mar- 
shal, but died the same year without further service. 

ARMY OF ITALY— JULY 20, 1796. 

Generals of 






Generals of 












15,391 including 2 cavalry regiments 

5,368 including 1 cavalry regiment 
10,000 including 2 cavalry regiments 



The 12th demibrigade was en route to join Serurier and the 25th demibrigade 
was en route to join Despinoy from Milan; the latter was at Bergamo. These 
reserves would bring the strength of the army to 46,700. 

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MILITARY SITUATION.— The withdrawal of 25,000 men 
under Gen. Wurmser to reinforce the Austrian army in Italy had 
weakened the Austrian armies along the Rhine River and allowed 
the French armies to cross that river. 

The French Army of the Sambre and Meuse, under Gen. 
Jourdan, crossed the Rhine north of the Main, and the French 
Army of the Rhine under Gen. Moreau at Strasburg. About the 
20th of August, Jourdan was near Nuremberg and Moreau near 
Ulm. From Ulm, Gen. Moreau was to move a force on Innsbruck 
and threaten Wurmser's communications through the Inn Val- 
ley. This, it was believed by the Directory, would cause Wurmser 
to retreat from the Tyrol and join Archduke Charles in Germany. 
The Directory advised Napoleon, under these circumstances, to 
advance to Trent and follow Wurmser over the Brenner Pass. 

Napoleon had three brigades — 10,000 men — ^under Vaubois 
west of Lake Garda; two of these brigades were north of Lake 
Idro and one at Salo. Massena had four brigades — 13,000 men — 
between Lake Garda and the Adige with one brigade of cavalry. 
Augereau had three brigades — 10,000 men — at Verona. Kil- 
maine was at Verona with a mixed brigade of 2,000 men. Sahu- 
guet was besieging Mantua with a force of 8,000 men. Several 
thousand men were sick in the hospitals. 

Wurmser's regular force was now reduced to 40,000 men. A 
new chief of staff was sent him from Vienna to suggest a plan of 
operations. The plan adopted was to divide his army into two 
equal corps — one under Wurmser to assemble at Bassano and 
defend the road eastward from Verona; the other under Gen. 
Davidovich to remain at Trent and defend the road leading into 
the Tyrol. Each could advance cautiously and if Napoleon 
attacked either, the other could relieve Mantua and operate on 
the French communications. 

When the campaign opened, one division of Wurmser's corps 

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was at Bassano, one in the valley of the Brenta near Primolano, 
and one just east of Trent. 

Davidovich was compelled to detach two brigades to protect 
his communications against Moreau's army and had but 14,000 
regulars with some militia. His main body — 8,000 men — was 
near Roveredo with outposts at Ala and beyond Riva; the 
reserve was at Trent. 

NAPOLEON'S PLAN.— Napoleon notified both the Dh-ectory 
and Gen. Moreau that he would advance on Trent about Septem- 
ber 2, and reach there the 4th or 5th. He would then be able to 
decide on his next step. 

His plan was to advance in three columns. Vaubois with his 
two brigades was to advance to the vicinity of Riva and there 
meet his Salo brigade, which was to be transported by water. Mas- 
sena was to advance up the Adige valley and Augereau up the 
valleys north of Verona. 

Kilmaine was directed to hold Verona with an infantry garrison 
of 1,000 men and cover it with a cavaby brigade. 

Sahuguet was to hold the line about Mantua and send a cavalry 
outpost to Legnago. 

As it was possible that Napoleon himself might move north 
from Trent he warned both Kilmaine and Sahuguet that the 
Austrians might appear in force either at Legnago or Verona. If 
the opposing force was too great, Kilmaine and Sahuguet were to 
fall back behind the Oglio, leaving a strong garrison in Peschiera. 

CAMPAIGN — September 2. — Vaubois advanced to Riva and 
Massena drove the Austrian outposts out of Ala. 

September 3. — Massena captured Roveredo and drove the 
Austrians beyond Galliano. Vaubois united his forces and moved 
up the west side of the Adige. 

September 4. — Napoleon entered Trent^with^Massena and was 
there joined by Vaubois. 

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September 5. — Massena and Vaubois attacked Davidovich at 
Lavis and compelled him to retreat towards Botzen. Augereau 
arrived at Roveredo and was sent eastwards to Levico. 

September 6. — Napoleon decided to leave Vaubois at Lavis, 
covering Trent, while he with Massena and Augereau moved 
against Wurmser. 

September 7. — ^Augereau with two brigades attacked Primolano 
where there was an Austrian brigade of 2,000 men and succeeded 
in capturing the commanding oflBcer and most of his force. 

September 8. — Massena and Augereau reached the foothills 
north of Bassano, where Wurmser had left a brigade on each side 
of the river to cover his trains near Cittadella. A third brigade 
was in reserve near Bassano. Massena attacked west of the river 
and Augereau east of the river and together carried the Austrian 
lines and pursued the Austrian troops to their reserves who were 
also defeated. 

The Austrians lost 35 guns, their bridge equipage and a large 
number of prisoners. Some of the fugitives retreated eastwards 
from Cittadella, but the main force to Montebello. Napoleon had 
now almost completely destroyed one of Wurmser's three divi- 
sions; one after considerable loss retreated to Montebello; the 
third was at Montebello when Bassano was attacked and was not 
engaged. Wurmser himself joined this division. 

September 9. — ^Wurmser now decided to move on Legnago, 
cross the river and go to Mantua. He spent the day in reorganiz- 
ing and resting his troops near Arcole, but sent a cavalry force 
to Legnago which was at once evacuated by the French garrison. 
Massena followed to Montebello; Augereau moved to Padua. 

September 10. — Wurmser reached Legnago in the afternoon 
and crossed the river. Massena's advance guard crossed at Ronco 
that night. Augereau marched towards Legnago. 

September 11. — Sahuguet was warned of Wurmser's move- 
ments and directed to destroy all the bridges over the Molinella 

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River between Sanguinetto and Mantua and guard the river; 
Kilmaine was to assist him. Massena was directed to march on 
Sanguinetto and Augereau was directed to take Legnago if pos- 
sible. Wurmser left a strong rear guard in Legnago and started 
for Sanguinetto. 

Napoleon's plans went astray this day. Sahuguet's men did 
not destroy all the bridges, and Massena's guide, instead of taking 
him on the direct road to Sanguinetto, took him via Angiari and 
Cerea. Massena therefore ran into Wurmser's main body with 
two brigades greatly weakened by stragglers and was defeated. 
Wurmser, guided by a native, passed over a bridge south of San- 
guinetto and joined the Austrian garrison opposite Mantua. 
Sahuguet abandoned his investing line east of the Mincio and 
crossed the Mincio at Goito. 

September 12. — ^A brigade of Massena's division and Auger- 
eau's division invested Legnago. Massena moved towards Mantua. 

September 13. — The Austrian commander of Legnago surren- 
dered with 1,600 men and the French investing troops marched 
on Mantua. Augereau was obliged by sickness to give up his 

September 14 and 15. — These days were spent by Napoleon 
in uniting his forces and attacking Wurmser at San Giorgio to 
compel him to evacuate the east bank of the Mincio. The fighting 
was very severe but at last Napoleon was successful. 

The campaign ended September 15, two weeks from the day 
Napoleon started from Trent. After a few days' rest, Massena 
was sent to occupy Verona and take post at Bassano where he 
could communicate with Vaubois via the Brenta valley. The 
other divisions remained near Mantua. 

Wurmser took with him into Mantua about 10,000 men which 
added to the garrison made a force of about 25,000 men. The 
fighting strength of this force was reduced by several thousand on 
the sick report. Wurmser encamped most of his men on the main 
land southwest of the fortification. 

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Napoleon assigned Kilmaine to the command of the investing 
forces which he organized into two divisions under Gens. Sahuguet 
and Dallemagne. The investment was not at first very close but 
after Wurmser attempted to seize Govemolo near the mouth of 
the Mincio, Kilmaine reinforced by Augereau's division drove 
him into his intrenched camp west of the Mincio. The French 
lines of investment were then strengthened by field fortifications. 

The French army suffered greatly in this campaign. All of the 
brigade commanders of Massena's division were killed, wounded 
or so exhausted by the operations as to be on the sick report. 

The distance from Rivoli to Lavis is 60 miles; from Lavis to 
Cittadella 70 miles, and from Cittadella to Mantua 70 miles via 
Ronco. The divisions of Massena and Augereau must therefore 
have marched on an average about 15 miles a day from the 2d to 
the 13th inclusive, besides engaging the enemy almost daily. 

On October 1, Napoleon reported to the Directory that he had 
18,000 men on the sick report; 4,000 from wounds. He reported 
the strength of his divisions — Vaubois, 8,000; Massena, 5,500; 
Augereau, 5,400; Sahuguet, 4,500; Dallemagne, 4,500. The 
strength of the cavalry reserve is not mentioned. 


1. At the beginning of September, when Wurmser moved 
towards Bassano, leaving Davidovich in the Tjo^ol, he should have 
directed Davidovich, in case he was attacked in force by the 
French, not to accept battle at Roveredo, but to retire on Bassano, 
in order to unite the army before giving battle. The Tjo-olean 
militia could have guarded the Avisio valley. Otherwise he should 
have ordered Davidovich to retire on Galliano and the valley of 
the Avisio. Roveredo and the other positions occupied by him 
are good positions, but they cannot compensate for lack of numbers 
if attacked by impetuous troops. In all affairs in gorges, columns 
once broken, interfere with each other and fall into the power of 
the enemy. 

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2. Wurmser having united his corps at Bassano, should have 
sent only a column, consisting of a division of infantry, 2,000 
cavalry, and a bridge train, to relieve Mantua. This force should 
have crossed the Adige at Albaredo from which it is only a short 
march to Mantua. The garrison of Mantua thus reinforced could 
have maintained itself in the field for some time. He himself 
should have retired to the Piave. The French army would have 
been obliged to hold its left in the Tjo^ol, its center in front of the 
Piave, and at the same time reinforce its right in order to re-estab- 
lish the blockade of Mantua. This would have been a heavy task 
for a small army. 

3. After Bassano, Wurmser was compelled to march to the 
Adige with the remnant of his army. His bridge train and reserve 
parks having been captured, he should have been surrounded, 
stopped by the river and compelled to surrender. He owed his 
good fortune in reaching Mantua to the French chief of battalion 
who evacuated Legnago. 

4. The Marshal made a mistake in leaving any garrison in 
Legnago. It was impossible for him to retreat to Legnago in the 
face of the entire French army; he was obliged to try to reach 
Mantua. It would have been easier for him to move to Milan 
than to return to Legnago. He reduced his own strength and 
sacrificed this garrison uselessly. 

5. Wurmser was also wrong in risking a battle at San Giorgio; 
he should have retired to the coimtry south of Mantua which is 
the real battlefield of the garrison of Mantua when strong enough 
to operate outside its walls. 

He might also have crossed from this section to the country 
south of the Po. By making a detour, he might have reached 
Padua with his cavalry, artillery and staff before the French 
general became aware of his movement. 

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SAHUGUET, Jean Joseph.— Born 1756. Entered French army as lieu- 
tenant and became captain 1784; lieut. col. of dragoons 1791, general of brigade 
1792, general of division 1793, died 1803. Served in the Army of the Pyrenees, 
in the Army of Italy and as governor of conquered provinces after Wurmser's 
second campaign. 

VAUBOIS, Claude Henri.— Bom 1748. Captain of artillery at the outbreak 
of the revolution, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795, retired as 
lieutenant general 1817, died 1839. In the Army of the Alps 1793 to 1795, in 
the Army of Italy in 1796, in 1798 was appointed by Napoleon conmiander of 
the island of Malta which he successfully defended for two years. Elected 
senator and made count in 1808. Took no part in Napoleon's government in 
1815 and remained in chamber of peers until his death. 

''Vaubois is a brave man. Has the proper qualifications for the commander 
of a besieged place but not for the commander of a division in a very active 
army or in a war so vigorously conducted as this." — Napoleon November 24, 


Wurmser — General in Chief. 
Weyrother— Chief of Staflf. 

Wing Brigade Bat. Squad. Inf. 


































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MILITARY SITUATION.— After the defeat of Wurmser in 
front of Mantua, Napoleon moved his headquarters to Milan 
where he remained imtil the middle of October. 

While he was engaged in his second campaign with Wurmser, 
the French armies in Bavaria were defeated by Archduke Charles 
and both Jourdan and Moreau had retreated to the Rhine River. 

Napoleon was now anxious for peace with Austria. His own 
army was exhausted and in no condition to invest Mantua and 
meet the new Austrian army which the emperor would be sure to 
send; his communications were harassed by Sardinian bandits 
who seemed to be supported by their government; both the Papal 
states and Naples were threatening war and an uprising in Venice 
was to be feared; all the other Italian states were restless and 
ready to desert him if he met with defeat. His requisitions had 
been very severe on Italy, robbing her not only of supplies and 
war material, but also of her most precious works of art. 

On October 2, he wrote to the emperor of Austria, threatening 
to advance on Triest and destroy that harbor, unless peace was 
made. As this had no effect, on the 16th he wrote to Wurmser 
offering him free passage for his entire garrison if he would sur- 
render the fortress of Mantua; this letter was not answered. 

The Austrians, who had some reserve battalions on the frontier 
of Venice, at Tarvis and Gorz, used these and the battalions of 
Wurmser's army that had retired eastward, to form the nucleus 
of a new army. Knowing from the Venetians the weakness of 
Massena's division, these troops advanced to the Piave River. 

On the 17th of October, Napoleon informed the Directory that 
the Austrians had 15,000 men on the Piave, 14,000 in the Tyrol 
and were sending troops from Austria to reinforce them; he urged 
that he be similarly reinforced. 

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About the middle of the month he started for Verona via Pavia, 
Modena and Bologna and reached his army October 23. 

NAPOLEON'S PLAN.— Assuming that Davidovich's corps 
had been reduced by detachments sent to the main army on the 
Piave, which was daily growing in strength, Napoleon decided 
to have Vaubois attack Davidovich and drive him back into the 
mountains. Then Vaubois could either come with his whole force 
or send a large part of it down the Brenta valley to unite with 
Massena and Augereau. 

Vaubois had 10,500 men at Lavis and Trent; Massena had 
9,500 at Bassano and Cittadella; Augereau 8,500 at Verona, a 
reserve infantry brigade of 3,000 was at Villafranca and the reserve 
cavalry brigade of 1,600 men at Verona. Kilmaine with the 
divisions of Sahuguet and Dallemagne was at Mantua. 

THE AUSTRIAN PLAN.— In the latter part of September, 
Gen. Alvinczi was assigned to the command of the relieving army 
which was strengthened as much as the resources of the empire 
would permit. 

Having visited Davidovich in the Tjo-ol, he decided on the 
following plan. Davidovich was to recall the two brigades that 
had been protecting his commimications in the previous campaign 
from possible attack by detachments from Moreau's army, and 
his army was to be strengthened by four brigades to 18,000 or 
20,000 men. He was to assume the offensive and drive Vaubois 
out of Trent, thus giving the Austrians the northern end of the 
Brenta valley. Alvinczi was to personally command the army 
which was to be concentrated on the Piave River. This army 
was to have six brigades — 28,000 to 30,000 men. He was to move 
from the Piave to Bassano and Cittadella and secure the southern 
end of the Brenta valley. 

The two Austrian armies could then concentrate on either line 
of march, or both advance to unite at Verona. 

The French and Austrian plans were similar; the Austrian 
forces outnimabered the French by one-half the strength of the 

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French mobile force. To offset this advantage, the French were 
protected by the Adige River and its fortresses — ^Verona and 
Legnago — each of which had been placed in a good state of defense 
by Napoleon's chief engineer and chief of artillery. 

CAMPAIGN. — November 2. — Vaubois made an unsuccessful 
attack on the advancing Austrian forces north of Lavis. Alvinczi's 
troops began to cross the Piave River. 

November 3. — Davidovich advanced his left wing so as to cut 
Vaubois from the Brenta, and his right wing along the west side 
of the Adige. Alvinczi crossed the Piave River and advanced in 
two columns on Bassano and Cittadella. 

November 4. — Davidovich, still advancing on both sides of 
the Adige, compelled Vaubois to retreat to Galliano. Alvinczi 
advanced on Bassano and Cittadella and Massena retreated to 
Vicenza where the reserve infantry brigade joined him. Augereau 
advanced from Verona to Montebello. 

While authorizing Massena to retreat, Napoleon had not given 
up his plan of holding the line of the Brenta. He therefore rein- 
forced Massena and pushed Augereau to the front. 

November 5. — Davidovich took possession of Trent and 
arranged his columns for an advance on Calliano. 

Alvinczi crossed the Brenta unopposed. Massena was at 
Vicenza; Augereau advanced to that point. 

Gen. Joubert, whose brigade was at Legnago, was ordered to 
Rivoli with one demibrigade to cover the retreat of Vaubois. 

November 6. — Vaubois was attacked on the afternoon of the 
6th at Calliano and resisted the attack. The Austrian brigade 
west of the Adige, having only a small force in its front, reached 
the Riva-Roveredo road and threatened his communications. 

Massena and Augereau, under Napoleon's supervision, attacked 
Alvinczi between Cittadella and Bassano on the Brenta. Both 
armies fought well. Napoleon was unable to force Alvinczi to 
recross the Brenta. 

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Noyember 7. — Vaubois fought all day at Galliano. Being 
obliged to send troops to protect his communications, he was 
decisively defeated in the afternoon and retreated that night 
through Ala to Peri. Joubert's brigade moved up from Rivoli 
and held Corona. 

Napoleon had intended to renew the battle on the Brenta this 
day, but the news from Vaubois made him hesitate and he finally 
started Massena for Verona to be followed by Augereau. In 
person he hastened to Rivoli and put Vaubois' troops in position 
at that place. 

Noyember 8. — Massena reached Verona in person on the after- 
noon of the 8th and as he was familiar with the country was placed 
temporarily in command of Vaubois' division, with orders to 
defend the line between Lake Garda and the Adige. Massena 
sent another demibrigade to Joubert at Gorona and posted the 
remainder of Vaubois' division at Rivoli. Davidovich did not 
push his pursuit. 

Massena's division retired to Verona and Augereau's to Monte- 
bello. Alvinczi reached Vicenza. 

Noyember 9. — Davidovich, having been informed that Mas- 
sena had reinforced Vaubois, ceased his advance. Vaubois and 
Massena strengthened their positions at Gorona and Rivoli with 
artillery and intrenchments. 

Augereau's division returned to Verona where he was assigned 
the defense of the Adige from Verona to Legnago. Alvinczi ad- 
vanced to Montebello. 

November 10. — The Austrians did not move this day and the 
French simply strengthened their lines. 

November 11. — ^Alvinczi advanced to Villanova from which 
place the French outpost retired. An Austrian reconnoitering 
force came within a mile of Verona but was driven back. 

As everything was quiet in Vaubois' front, Napoleon decided to 
again attack Alvinczi. Massena in person was recalled from 

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Rivoli and that night the division of Massena and part of that of 
Augereau moved out and encamped near the east gate of Verona. 

November 12. — At break of day Napoleon moved from Verona 
and attacked the Austrian advance brigades at Caldiero — 8,000 
men — with the divisions of Massena and a part of that of Auger- 
eau. Although the resistance was obstinate, the Austrians being 
in intrenched villages. Napoleon was making progress when, in 
the afternoon, two additional Austrian brigades reached the field. 
The French were then defeated and driven with considerable loss 
back into Verona. The darkness probably prevented the Aus- 
trians from following up their success. 

November 13. — There were no operations this day, though 
Davidovich was preparing to advance. 

Napoleon was thoroughly discouraged and wrote a very despond- 
ent letter to the Directory. Vaubois' division had lost a third of 
its strength and some of its regiments had shown signs of demorali- 
zation. Massena and Augereau had twice unsuccessfully attacked 
the enemy and had suffered severe loss. The Austrians were now 
relatively much stronger than they had been at the opening of the 
campaign. Retreat to the Adda seemed the only thing left. 

November 14. — ^Another day passed without any operations. 
Davidovich made preparations to attack Corona on the 15th. 
Alvinczi decided to throw a bridge across the Adige south of 
Caldiero and was making causeways through the marsh to the 
site of the bridge. 

Napoleon's spirits rose and he began to despise an adversary 
who was so slow to take advantage of his opportunities. He knew 
that Vaubois could not hold out against Davidovich and yet he 
did not dare to move Massena and Augereau to Rivoli with Alvin- 
czi at the gates of Verona. He therefore decided to strike the 
communications of Alvinczi about a day's march from Verona, 
and see if he could not make him retreat and give Napoleon time 
to destroy Davidovich. 

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At Villanova, thirteen miles east of Verona, the Verona-Vicenza 
highway is hemmed in between the foothills of the Alps on the 
north and the marshy triangle between the Adige and Alpon. Al- 
vinczi left his trains just east of Villanova. 

Napoleon knew that Alvinczi would feel sensitive about this 
point, and he therefore made up his mind to threaten it. 

To secure a striking force, he directed Gen. Vaubois to send at 
once two of his seven demibrigades from Rivoli to Ronco and one 
to Verona, and on the 15th to concentrate his entire division at 
Rivoli, leaving only an outpost at Corona. Kilmaine was informed 
that he must keep Wurmser in Mantua, Alvinczi out of Verona, 
and send one of his seven demibrigades to Napoleon. 

Sixteen miles below Verona on the west bank of the Adige River 
is the small village of Ronco, where the French had a ponton 
bridge which had been dismantled a few days before. Between 
the Adige and Alpon is marsh, below the water level of the two 
rivers. A dike along the east bank of the Adige and another along 
the west bank of the Alpon were the principal roadways in this 
section. There was a small area of high ground near the junction 
of the two rivers. At Arcole or Areola, where the Alpon is about 
60 feet wide, there was a narrow wooden bridge. Arcole is only 
three and a half miles from Villanova and due south of it. 

After dark on the 16th, Napoleon, with the divisions of Massena 
and Augereau, Gen. Guieu's brigade of Vaubois' division and a 
brigade of cavalry, marched down to Ronco where orders had been 
given to rebuild the bridge. En route, one of Guieu's demibrigades 
was left opposite Alvinczi's proposed crossing. An Austrian 
battalion, posted at Ronco, retreated to Arcole. 

November 15. — ^As directed, Vaubois withdrew from Corona 
without being attacked and concentrated his remaining troops at 
Rivoli. Davidovich followed with four brigades and occupied 

At daylight, Massena crossed the bridge, and with part of his 
division, started up the pike for Caldiero. The Austrians at once 

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sent a force to meet him but in the course of the day Massena 
reached and held Porcil a small village a mile and a half from the 
Verona-Vicenza road. 

Augereau followed Massena and moved on the dike to Arcole, 
where there was an Austrian brigade with two guns. For a mile, 
this dike was separated from the Austrians behind the opposite 
dike by the width of the river — 30 yards. The flank fire of the 
Austrians threw Augereau's column in disorder and, although at 
one time he was in actual possession of the bridge, he could not 
hold it. 

In the afternoon, Napoleon sent Guieu with his brigade to 
Albaredo to cross in boats to come up on the Austrians' left flank. 
The attacks on the bridge were continued by Augereau's column 
until late in the afternoon. As at Lodi, the generals of division 
and brigade, placed themselves at the head of the column to carry 
it forward, but all in vain; Napoleon himself led one attack. To- 
wards evening Napoleon ordered both divisions to recross the 
ponton bridge leaving a strong guard on the east bank. 

Guieu came up after dark and captured Arcole by surprise. 
He stayed there until midnight. Hearing nothing from Napoleon, 
he then retreated to Albaredo, crossed the river and returned to 

While the day's work had not been entirely successful, it did 
cause Alvinczi to send his trains from Villanova to Montebello; 
to give up all thought of crossing the Adige; and led him to engage 
in a battle on the dikes. 

That night Napoleon ordered Vaubois to still further reduce 
his force and send 1,000 men into Verona to replace some he had 
ordered to Ronco. 

November 16.— Davidovich spent this day in making prepara- 
tions to attack Rivoli. Alvinczi sent two brigades down the dikes 
from Porcil and four brigades to Arcole. One of the latter took 
possession of Albaredo and protected that flank; one remained in 
Arcole; the other two crossed the Alpon and marched towards 

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the French ponton bridge. Alvinczi hoped to prevent the French 
from again crossing the river. 

Massena and Augereau crossed the river as on the preceding 
day, and met the Austrians on both dikes close to the bridge. The 
battle of the dikes was maintained all day long without the capture 
of the bridge at Arcole. In the afternoon, the French made an 
attempt to bridge the Alpon near its mouth but the Austrians on 
the opposite dike prevented its successful completion. 

At night Napoleon again withdrew Massena and Augereau to 
the west bank, leaving a strong guard to cover the bridge. 

November 17. — Davidovich attacked Vaubois, routed him 
and captured two of his three brigade commanders and a third of 
his command. Vaubois fled with the remnant of his command to 
Castelnovo. Davidovich stopped between Rivoli and Castelnovo 
to await orders from Alvinczi. 

On the night of the 16th-17th, Napoleon sent a battalion of 
infantry and a regiment of cavalry to Legnago, to form with its 
garrison a column which was to move up the east side of the Adige 
to Arcole. Preparations were also made for the construction of a 
bridge near the mouth of the Alpon on the following day. 

In crossing the river on the morning of November 17, Massena 
was in advance and was for a time cut of! with a part of his division, 
by the breaking of the ponton bridge. The French artillery how- 
ever protected him from the attacks of the Austrians who were 
again marching for the bridge. 

Severe fighting on the dikes again took place beginning near the 
bridge and with varying success. In the afternoon Augereau, 
however, crossed the Alpon near its mouth and formed a junction 
with the Legnago column. Massena then attacked along both 
dikes. Augereau was repulsed in an attack on Arcole and the day 
might have ended with the village in the possession of the Aus- 
trians, had not Napoleon sent a small squad of cavalry, in con- 
cealment aroimd the Austrian left flank, where its bugles sounded 
calls, which made the Austrian commander believe a large cavalry 

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force was on his flank. He therefore abandoned Arcole and retired 
through Gazzolo. Augereau and Massena pursued and attacked 
but were repulsed. 

The French bivouacked on both sides the Alpon at Arcole. 

November 18. — Davidovich did not move, as he had heard 
nothing from Alvinczi. Massena and Augereau moved up on 
opposite sides of the Alpon to Villanova, and caused the with- 
drawal of the last of Alvinczi's forces. They then marched to 
Verona, while the cavalry followed Alvinczi towards Montebello. 

Napoleon, having heard that Vaubois' force was almost de- 
stroyed, ordered Massena to unite with the remnants of Vaubois' 
division at Villafranca. 

November 19. — On the afternoon of this day, Davidovich 
learned of Alvinczi's retreat, and began himself to move north- 
wards. Massena moved to Villafranca while Augereau remained 
at Verona. 

November 20. — Massena organized his force at Villafranca. 
Alvinczi this day learned of the defeat of Vaubois and informed 
Davidovich that the main army would again move on Verona. 

November 21. — Massena moved on Rivoli, and Augereau up 
the east bank of the Adige. Hearing that Massena was moving to 
attack him, and Augereau was marching for his communications, 
Davidovich hastened to retreat. Massena struck his rear guard at 
Rivoli and Augereau's advance guard struck him in flank at Peri. 

November 22. — Davidovich sent word to Alvinczi that his 
troops were in no condition to continue the campaign, and he 
would retire to Roveredo. Alvinczi had by this time retaken his 
position at Caldiero and Arcole. 

November 23. — ^Alvinczi received Davidovich's message and 
not caring to face Napoleon alone, promptly ordered a retreat to 
the Brenta River. Napoleon made no attempt to pursue, as his 
troops needed rest. Assuming that the relieving armies were near 
by, Wurmser made a sortie this day but was repulsed. 

This ended the three weeks' campaign. 

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1. When Alvinczi began his campaign he decided to move in 
two columns. Nothing could have been more faulty than this 
plan. As soon as he was master of Bassano, he should have 
ordered Davidovich to join him and appear on the Adige with a 
united army. The defense of the Tyrol might have been left to 
the militia. 

2. In occupying Caldiero, he should have established strong 
posts in the marshes opposite Ronco. In assuming that the 
marshes were impassable he allowed the French to construct a 
bridge at Ronco and place an army in his rear. 

3. The columns of Alvinczi and Davidovich, although only ten 
or twelve leagues apart, were imable to commimicate with each 
other. The coimtry above Verona is very rough and has no 
practicable cross roads. 

4. It is saidthat my bridge should have been made at Albaredo 
instead of Ronco. This is wrong. In Verona, Kilmaine had a force 
of only 1,500 men; the town might have been taken by assault. 
After crossing the river Massena was at once sent up the Adige, 
to place himself in rear of Alvinczi. If the Austrian commander 
now advanced on Verona, Massena could pursue him. If the 
bridge had been constructed at Albaredo,this river and the marshes 
would have protected Alvinczi while attacking Verona. The 
passage at Ronco was audacious but not dangerous, while that at 
Albaredo would have been both rash and dangerous. It would 
have compromised the safety of Verona. 

5. Why did Napoleon retreat behind the Adige on the nights 
of the first and second days? To remove the bridge and intercept 
Davidovich on the road to Mantua if necessary. If Davidovich 
reached Mantua first, all would have been lost, but if the French 
army reached there first, all would have been safe. United 
with Vaubois, the general in chief would have defeated Davido- 
vich, driven him back to the Tyrol, and been back on the Adige 
before Alvinczi could have crossed. 

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6. ^t is said a bridge should have been thrown over the Alpon 
on the first, certainly on the second day. No, it was only on the 
third day that the Austrian army was sufficiently discouraged to 
warrant it. Even then the generals thought the movement of 
the army into the plain east of the Alpon was too hazardous. It 
must be remembered that the French army had been weakened by 
the battles of the Brenta and Caldiero and by the first and second 
days of Arcole. 


ALYINCZI, Baron Joseph. — Bom in Transylvania, 1735. Distinguished 
himself in the Seven Years' War and attained the rank of brigade commander. 
In 1789 he commanded a division in the war with the Turks. From 1792 to 
1796 he served with distinction in the Netherlands and on the Rhine. In 1808 
was made field marshal and died in 1810. 

ARMY OF ITALY.— NOV. 12, 1796. 


9,540 including 2 regiments of cavalry 

8,340 including 1 regiment of cavalry 

8,830 including 1 regiment of cavalry 

2,750 including 1 regiment of cavalry 
1,600 — 6 regiments of cavalry 

Generals of 

Generals of 






















(infantry reserve) 


(cavalry reserve) 


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MIUTARY SITUATION— Immediately after the retreat of 
Alvinczi, Napoleon made Joubert brevet general of division and 
assigned him to the command of Vaubois' divison, whose numer- 
ical strength was restored by reinforcements, with orders to hold 
the positions of Corona and Rivoli. Intrenchments and batteries 
were constructed at Corona, at Rivoli to command the road con- 
necting plateau and river, and on the east bank of the Adige at the 
gorge of the river below Rivoli. Massena was posted at Verona 
with orders to support Joubert, and Augereau was charged with 
the defense of the Adige from Ronco southwards. 

The nucleus of a new division was begun at Desenzano, by 
placing a brigade of infantry and some cavalry imder the command 
of Gen. Rey, who had reported from the Army of the Vend6, with 
reinforcements. He was to protect the coimtry west of Lake 
Garda. He had a detachment at Lake Idro, some battalions at 
Salo, and a detachment at Brescia. 

Kilmaine, having become incapacitated for field service, was 
assigned to the general command of the region between the Chiese 
and Ticino, and Serurier was recalled from Tuscany to take com- 
mand of the besieging forces aroimd Mantua. Kilmaine still 
retained the general command of the cavalry of the army. Vaubois 
was again sent to command the French troops in Tuscany. 

Sahuguet being detached to command one of the fortresses in 
the rear, Gen. Dumas of the cavalry was temporarily assigned to 
command his division. 

Napoleon employed the period between his first and second 
campaigns against Alvinczi in perfecting his organization. 

In each of his principal divisions, the old and the inefficient 
officers were ordered to their homes and replaced by the yoimg 
officers who had shown the greatest bravery and activity. 

The field and horse artillery were reorganized and equipped. 

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Field works were constructed at exposed points and the perma- 
nent works were strengthened by more artillery. 

A system of signals, by cannon located at intervals, was arranged 
so that warning could be rapidly sent from one division to another 
announcing the appearance of the enemy and whether or not 
assistance was desired. Courier posts were established for the 
rapid transmission of orders in all directions. 

Napoleon spent most of his time between the campaigns at 
Milan, but was en route to Bologna when the campaign opened. 

AUSTRIAN PLAN.— After his first campaign. Gen. Alvinczi 
concentrated' the greater part of his army at Roveredo, leaving a 
force of 5,000 at Bassano under Gen. Bajalich and a force of 10,000 
at Padua imder Gen. Provera. His own force numbered about 
28,000, excluding the required garrisons and small detachments 
guarding his commimications. 

He was urged to relieve Wurmser at once, notwithstanding the 
inclement weather, as the garrison of Mantua was reported to be 
almost out of rations and would soon be compelled to surrender. 

His plan was to divide his Roveredo force into six brigades. 
One was to follow the shore of Lake Garda and join the others in 
front of Rivoli; two were to follow the moimtain road through 
Corona; two were to follow the west bank of the Adige; and one 
the east bank. The latter was to throw a bridge across the river 
below Rivoli. The field artillery and the cavalry were to follow 
the river roads. 

To disconcert the French, Provera was to move first and threaten 
Legnago. He was provided with a bridge train so that he could 
cross the Adige out of range of that place and relieve Mantua, 
whose garrison was, if necessary, to retreat across the Po and join 
the Papal forces. 

Bajalich was to move second and threaten Verona and prevent 
its garrison from moving to either flank. 

FRENCH FORCES.^Joubert's division of 10,300 men had 
its reserves at RivoU and its outposts guarding all the lines of 

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approach to Rivoli; one brigade was at Corona. Massena, with 
9,000 men, was at Verona; Augereau with 9,000 was guarding the 
Adige with his troops widely scattered from Verona to Legnago; 
Rey with 4,000 men was at Desenzano and Salo. In addition to 
these forces there was a cavahy brigade in front of Augereau at 
Legnago, one in rear of Verona, and a third at Villafranca. A 
demibrigade of infantry, 2,000 men, under Gen. Victor, was also at 
Villafranca. The investing force at Mantua was about 10,000 men. 

THE CAMPAIGN.— January 7.— Gen. Provera started from 
Padua and marched to Este. 

Napoleon was in Milan. 

January 8. — Provera marched towards Legnago and Bajalich 
left Bassano. Augereau was informed of Provera's movement and 
prepared to defend the Adige. Napoleon was on his way to 

January 9. — Provera attacked Augereau's advance posts about 
five miles east of Legnago and drove them back to the Adige. 
Bajalich was marching towards Verona. Napoleon probably 
reached Bologna on the night of the 9th. 

January 10. — Provera waited for his brigade and wagon trains. 
Bajalich appeared in front of Verona and at Arcole, and sent some 
troops into the mountains north of Verona to get in touch with the 
main column. His outposts in front of Verona were attacked by 
Massena's cavalry and retired to Caldiero. Alvinczi started the 
three brigades which were to move along the lake and on the pla- 
teau, for Rivoli. 

Napoleon was at Bologna, where he had assembled a brigade 
under Gen. Lannes to hold the town against the Papal troops who 
were advancing northward. Having heard from Augereau that 
the Austrians were in force in front of Legnago, he at once sent 
these troops, via Ferrara, to defend the Adige below Legnago. 

January 11.— Provera ordered a reconnaissance of the river at 
Angiari where he decided to cross the Adige. Bajalich made no 

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movement. Alvinczi's second and third brigades moved towards 
Corona while his first continued its march down the lake. His 
fourth brigade reached the Adige opposite Corona. 

Napoleon was still at Bologna where he met the representatives 
of the Duke of Tuscany. 

January 12. — ^Provera ordered a bridge to be thrown over the 
Adige at Angiari, but afterwards revoked the order. Bajalich 
attacked Massena's outpost close to Verona and captured it. He 
was in turn attacked by Massena and forced back to Caldiero. 
Alvinczi's second and third brigades reached Corona in the 
morning, but through a misunderstanding only one attacked. 
The small brigade of French troops, under the personal supervision 
of Joubert, stationed there, being well intrenched, was able to 
hold its own. The fourth of Alvinczi's brigades was now ordered 
to ascend the plateau and join the second and third. 

Napoleon left Bologna on the night of the 11th and reached 
Roverbella on the morning of the 12th. From the reports received, 
he assumed that Provera's was the main attack. He therefore 
decided to concentrate on him, cross the Adige, and attack him. 

Massena was ordered to hold himself in readiness to move on 
Legnago; Victor's reserve infantry demibrigade and the reserve 
cavalry brigade were ordered to the road between Legnago and 
Mantua; Rey was directed to leave a sufficient force at Salo to 
meet any force coming down the west side of Lake Garda and 
march to Valeggio with a demibrigade. 

Napoleon then went to Verona, where he arrived in time to 
witness Massena's counter attack. 

January 13. — On the 13th, Provera concentrated his force near 
Legnago as if to attack and sent a party some miles down the river 
as if to secure a crossing. After dark he moved to Angiari above 
Legnago, sent a force across in boats to drive out the small garrison, 
and began the construction of a ponton bridge. 

Bajalich remained at Caldiero and in the morning defeated a 
cavalry force sent on a reconnaissance by Napoleon. At Provera's 

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request, in the afternoon he went to Arcole to threaten a crossmg. 
Alvinczi's second, third and fourth brigades advanced through 
Corona and deployed along the Tasso occupying the villages of 
Caprino and Martino. The first brigade had only reached Lumini. 
The Austrian columns following the Adige valley were on the 
same general line as those on the plateau. 

During the night of January 12-13, Joubert was informed by his 
outposts near Lumini that an Austrian force was advancing to 
that point. Leaving his fires burning he retired from Corona in the 
early morning and withdrew his forces to the southern ridge north- 
west of Rivoli; only observation posts were left on the northern 
ridge. In retiring from Corona, a detached battalion was over- 
looked and was later captured by the Austrians. 

Towards evening, Joubert decided that he was too weak to hold 
his position and gave orders to retire to Castelnovo after dark. 

Before his troops had moved, however, he received word from 
Napoleon that he was coming in person to Rivoli and was sending 
Joubert reinforcements to enable him to hold his position. 

Napoleon was at Verona that day and was imcertain from which 
point to expect the main attack. He knew that Joubert had been 
compelled to evacuate Corona and that a large force had appeared 
in front of Legnago. He had determined to send Massena and Key 
to reinforce one of his flanks, but it was not imtil 3 P. M. that the 
reports clearly indicated that the main attack was from the north. 

Napoleon was thoroughly familiar with the topography of the 
coimtry and knew that at this season of the year the columns 
marching down on Rivoli, via the plateau, could be infantry only 
with a few moimtain guns, that the field guns and cavalry could 
only reach Rivoli by the river roads. If he could, with Joubert's 
division, prevent the Austrians from securing the road between the 
river and the plateau imtil reinforcements could reach him, he felt 
that he could defeat Alvinczi's plan, since neither Bajalich nor 
Provera seemed strong enough to cross the Adige. 

At 3 P. M. he sent orders to Gen. Victor to move from the 

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Legnago-Mantua road via Villafranca to Rivoli. Victor fortunately 
however started on a more direct and shorter road. 

At 5 P. M. he ordered Massena to leave 3,000 of his division at 
Verona and send three demibrigades — 6,000 men — ^as soon as 
possible to reinforce Joubert. Orders were at the same time sent 
to Rey to march with a demibrigade from Valeggio to Castelnovo, 
where he would meet a staff officer to guide him, and if the Salo 
garrison was not threatened, he was to send a part of it to cross 
Lake Garda in boats. 

Massena was probably 17 miles from the field; Rey and Victor 
were still further; time was necessary for the transmission of the 
orders and the preparation of the troops for the march. None 
could reach Rivoli imtil the following day. 

That night Napoleon himself went to Rivoli and reached Joubert 
at 2 A. M. 

January 14. — Provera crossed the river and started for Mantua. 
Augereau's troops, guarding the river between Verona and Angiari 
imder Gen. Guieu, moved down and by their attacks delayed his 
movements. Augereau himself was at Legnago; he directed 
Lannes to move up to that place. 

On the morning of January 14, Alvinczi had three brigades in 
front of Joubert and one at Lumini. His fifth brigade was on the 
river road with the cavahy and artillery, ready to ascend the 
plateau as soon as its path was cleared. The sixth brigade was 
still across the Adige, but could easily join the others by throwing 
a bridge across the river. 

Alvinczi was not satisfied with the advantage he had gained and 
instead of ordering his first brigade from Lumini to Caprino, 
ordered it to march via Costermano and Affi to seize the ridge 
south of Rivoli. This would delay his attack imtil the afternoon. 
In the morning the three brigades in front of Joubert were to com- 
plete their deployment and occupy the ridge from Ceredele to San 

When Napoleon reached Rivoli, it was moonlight and he was 

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able to reconnoiter the position. He at once decided that to pre- 
vent the union of the Austrian columns, Joubert must hold the 
ridge at San Marco and extend his left along the ridge towards 
Trombalora. Even if driven from this advanced position he would 
gain time for the arrival of Massena and Victor. 

At dawn, Joubert left 1,500 men to hold his second line and man 
the fortifications commanding the river road, and with about 
8,500 moved out to the line selected by Napoleon. He conducted 
^ the right of his line in person. He had hardly reached San Marco 
before an Austrian brigade approached to occupy it. This brigade 
was attacked and after a severe engagement was driven back. 

On the Trombalora ridge the French line was outflanked by the 
right brigade of the Austrian line and Joubert's left wing was 
defeated and retreated in a panic. The Austrians were rolling up 
the center when Massena appeared with his first demibrigade. 
Massena at once attacked the Austrian brigade in flank, drove it 
from the field and reestablished the French left. 

Before the arrival of Massena, Alvinczi saw the French left 
retreating and sent his center and left brigades against Joubert at 
San Marco. This attack compelled Joubert to fall back to the 
southern ridge while Massena was restoring the left of his line on 
the northern ridge. 

Arriving at the head of the road leading down into the Adige 
valley with Joubert, Napoleon saw that his fortified line in the 
valley was carried and the Austrians were advancing up the road 
in a dense column, whose head had reached the plateau. 

A regiment of cavalry held in reserve charged the head of the Aus- 
trian column and was supported by Joubert with such infantry as 
he could rally. This attack, supported by artillery, was successful 
and the Austrians retreated to the valley to reform. 

Then, turning to the Austrian brigades which had followed him 
from San Marco, Joubert held them in front while Massena, who 
had been joined by his second demibrigade, attacked them in 
flank. The Austrians were in turn surprised and a sudden charge 

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of French cavalry caused them to break and retire to their morning 

The first Austrian brigade had pursued its way unmolested and 
was now on the ridge south of Rivoli. 

Leaving Joubert to face the Austrians north of him, Massena 
took one demibrigade to attack this brigade. In marching to the 
attack, he was joined by his third demibrigade, which he had sent 
via Garda to reconnoiter the road along the lake leading to Pes- 
chiera. Finding no Austrians at Garda, this brigade marched to 

The commander of the Austrian brigade tried to retreat via 
Affi, running the gauntlet between Massena and Victor, who was 
approaching Affi from the south. Many of his command were 
captured and those who escaped ran into and were captured by 
Gen. Murat who had crossed the lake from Salo with its garrison 
and had landed at Torri. 

The Austrian brigades which had recrossed the Tasso north of 
Rivoli were not pursued since night was falling and Napoleon had 
just learned that Provera had crossed the Adige at Angiari. 

Napoleon now considered Alvinczi defeated and at once ordered 
two demibrigades of Massena's division and Victor's demibrigade 
to make a night march to Mantua to assist Serurier. 

Of Massena's division, one demibrigade, and of Rey's division, 
Murat's battalions of the Salo garrison, remained with Joubert. 
A demibrigade of Rey's division was en route for the field from 
Valeggio and would be up the in morning. 

January 15. — On the 15th, Provera continued his march for 
Mantua, but was delayed en route by the reserve cavalry brigade 
and Gen. Guieu. 

He sent his advance guard to communicate with Wurmser, but 
the commander of this guard found the French investing force 
strongly intrenched and being himself repulsed was unable to 
communicate with Wurmser. 

Augereau, reinforced by Lannes, moved up to Angiari to attack 

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the rear guard left by Provera to protect his bridge. This rear 
guard attempted to join the main body, but was cut off and cap- 
tured. Augereau then burned the Austrian bridge and started 
for Mantua. 

That night Napoleon was at Roverbella with two demibrigades 
of the command which had marched from Rivoli; the other demi- 
brigade was en route from Castelnovo. 

Joubert, on the morning of the 15th, had in his front only three 
Austrian brigades. He had been reinforced as above stated from 
the divisions of Massena and Rey, and was directed by Napoleon 
to take the offensive. 

He first took the hill at San Marco shortly after daylight; then, 
pivoting on that hill, tiuned the Austrian right. He thus cut their 
line of retreat to Corona and compelled the Austrians to retreat 
over the mountains to the Adige. His victory was decisive and he 
captured several thousand prisoners. This closed the two days' 
battle of Rivoli. 

January 16. — Provera appeared before Mantua in the morning, 
and was here attacked by Massena, Victor, Guieu and Serurier. 
Being cut off from Mantua with no hope of retreat, he surrendered 
his remaining force of 7,000 men at 11 A. M. This engagement 
was known as the battle of Favorita. 

This ended the eight days' campaign. Alvinczi retreated to 
Roveredo and Bajalich to Bassano. 

Alvinczi had sent a small raiding force down the west side of 
Lake Garda; this reached the vicinity of Brescia but was then 
compelled to retreat without doing any damage. 

On February 2, Wurmser surrendered Mantua. General Wurm- 
ser with his staff, the general officers with their staffs, and an escort 
of 700 men were allowed to return to Austria. The remaining 
15,000 became prisoners of war. A large part of the Austrian 
garrison died of fever during the siege. 

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1. Alvinczi had for the campaign of Rivoli about 50,000 men 
and 120 pieces of artillery. He moved one half of his army, with 
all his artillery, down the valley of the Adige. The column on the 
east bank was stopped by a hundred men in the fort controlling 
the gorge of the Adige below Rivoli. The column which followed 
the west bank of the Adige was on the narrow shelf between the 
bluffs and the river. Its only exit was the road which ascends the 
bluffs at the plateau of Rivoli near the chapel of San Marco. This 
road is commanded on the north side by the height of San Marca 
and on the south by the plateau of Rivoli. With 25,000 men,^ 
without artillery and cavalry, Alvinczi expected to drive back the 
French army from Corona to Rivoli and there unite with the 
columns which moved along the valley. He believed that he 
would have only the division of Joubert to overcome and therefore 
again separated his command, sending one column down between 
Lake Garda and the mountains. Such a plan would be correct if 
armies were like moimtains, immovable. This was the mistake 
frequently made by the Austrians. In this case it was assumed that 
Massena would remain quietly at Verona. It assumed that Napo-^ 
leon did not appreciate the value of the position at Rivoli. 

2. What should Alvinczi have done? Marched his army so as 
to permit him to fight it every day, every hour. His whole force 
should have marched between Lake Garda and the Adige, united 
by communications and acting as a single mass. Similarly he 
should have united his cavalry, since cavalry can go wherever 
infantry can. He should have made his dispositions to attack 
Joubert only on the morning of the attack, when he had full infor- 
mation as to his troops and dispositions. 

3. It is a principle of war to make no detachments on the eve of 
making an attack, since the condition of things may change by the 
retreat of the enemy, or the arrival of reinforcements which will 
enable him to take up the offensive and render dangerous the 
premature dispositions that have been made. 

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4. One is often deceived in war as to the strength of the enemy; 
prisoners know only their corps, officers make imcertain reports. 

5. This axiom will remedy everything. Let an army be every 
day, every night, every hour ready to oppose all the resistance it 
is capable of offering. To this end soldiers must always have their 
arms and ammimition; infantry should always have its artillery, 
cavahy , and its generals ; the different divisions should be constantly 
disposed to support each other; in camps, at halts, on the 
march, the troops should always be in favorable positions, which 
have the qualities demanded by a field of battle, viz., flanks sup- 
ported and all the arms in the position best suited for them. For 
this purpose, there must be advance guards and flankers, far 
enough off to allow the main corps to deploy. 

6. A great captain should ask himself several times each day, 
what would I do if the enemy suddenly appeared on my front, on 
my right flank, on my left flank? If he finds himself embarrassed 
to answer these questions, as a rule he is badly placed and should 
correct his position. If Alvinczi had said, "What if I meet the 
French army before I reach Rivoli, when I have but half my 
infantry without cavalry or artillery?" he would have replied, "I 
shall be beaten by forces inferior to my own." Why was not he 
made more careful by Lodi, Castiglione, the Brenta and Arcole? 

7. Alvinczi debouched in January. Mantua was held at bay. 
He operates with two columns; the first from the north commanded 
by himself; the other on the lower Adige, commanded by Provera. 
The success of Provera would be of no value, were Alvinczi de- 
feated. This fault was aggravated by a central attack on Verona, 
which had no other end than that of weakening the main attacks. 
It is true the Austrian authorities ordered Wurmser, in case he was 
relieved by Provera, to cross the Po and retreat on Rome. Unless, 
however, he could count on the assistance of the king of Naples, 
this movement would have been of no value. 

8. Having succeeded in throwing a bridge over the Adige, 
Provera should have ordered the force threatening Verona to join 

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him; this would have greatly strengthened him. As it was, he 
not only left this force behind, but he also left a guard at his bridge 
which he should have taken up. The guard was captured. On 
arriving before Mantua in the morning, he should at once have 
forced an entrance. He did nothing that day; in the evening 
Napoleon with the troops from Rivoli began to arrive and on the 
following day he was obliged to capitulate. The Austrians did 
not appreciate the value of time. 

9. Napoleon should have occupied the plateaus of Rivoli, 
Corona, San Marco and Rocca d'Anfo, by good fortifications in 
wood and masonry. In six weeks these four forts might have been 
constructed. Each with a garrison of 400 or 500 men and 15 guns 
would have protected these places from surprise. They would 
have been worth more to the army than a reinforcement of 15,000 


JOUBERT, Barthelemy Catherine.— Born 1769. Entered volunteers as 
sergeant 1791; general of brigade 1795; general of division 1797; 1798 com- 
manded in succession the armies of Holland, Mayence and Italy. Resigned this 
last command but was reappointed in 1799 after the army had suffered many 
reverses and was killed in his battle at Novi, August 1799. Served in Army of 
Italy 1795-97. 

"He was bold, vigilant, active. Had he lived he would have attained great 
military renown." — Napoleon at St. Helena. 

REY, Antoine Gabriel.— Bom 1768. Enlisted in army under Louis XVI, 
lieutenant 1791, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795. Served with 
distinction in armies of the Rhine, of the West and of Italy. He did not approve 
of the coup d'etai by means of which Napoleon made himself First Consul 
and was relieved from command. Restored in 1808 and served in Spain from 
1808 to 1814. In 1815 was commander of Valenciennes which he defended 
after Waterloo. Retired from service 1820. Died 1836. 

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Alvinczi — General in Chief. 

Brigades Strength 

Hohenzollem, Roselmini, Liptai 28,699 

Schubirz, Brabeck, Pittoni 

Laudon, Ocskay, Spork, Vukassevich 18,427 

Total, 47,125 


Generals of 

Generals of 






8,851 including 2 regiments of cavalry 



8,851 including 4 regiments of cavahy 

Joubert (bvt.) 




10,250 including 1 regiment of cavalry 





4,156 including 2 regiments of cavalry 







10,230 including 2 regiments of cavahy 

Cavalry reserve 


658 2 regiments 

Infantry reserve 


1,800 including 1 regiment of cavahy 





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MILITARY SITUATION.— The second campaign against 
Alvinczi terminated on the 17th of January and on the following 
day detachme?ats were made from the divisions of Massena, Aug- 
ereau and the cavalry to imite with Victor's brigade near Ferrera 
and form a division for the invasion of the Papal states. This 
division was to be commanded by Gen. Victor. 

Napoleon's next step was to clear the Brenta valley of Aus- 
trians. On January 20, Massena's division moved to Vicenza and 
Augereau's to Padua. From these positions they moved to Bas- 
sano and Cittadella. Massena pushed detachments up the Brenta 
valley. This movement caused Alvinczi with a large part of his 
command to retreat from Roveredo to the Piave via Feltre and 
enabled Joubert to reoccupy Trent and Lavis without opposition 

When Wurmser surrendered Mantua on February 2, Joubert 
was at Trent, Massena at Bassano, Augereau at Castelfranca and 
Napoleon with Victor at Bologna. 

After the surrender, Augereau was sent in person to present the 
sixty colors, captured in Mantua, to the French government and 
Rey was directed to escort the prisoners to the French frontier. 
Gen. Guieu succeeded to the command of Augereau's division 
and Gen. Baraguey-d'Hilliers to the troops of Rey's division that 
remained with the army. 

Napoleon continued his movement against the Papal states. 
Without opposition Victor moved down to Ancona on the Adriatic 
Sea and thence over the moimtains towards Rome. En route to 
Rome, Napoleon was met by the Papal representatives and on 
February 19, came to terms with them. He at once made arrange- 
ments to hold the Papal states east of the Apennines, now imder 
French protection, by small garrisons and withdraw his main body 
as soon as the conditions of the treaty were fulfilled. He person- 
ally returned to the army to begin a new campaign. 

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As a result of Napoleon's persistent applications for reinforce- 
ments, and because of his uninterrupted victories, the Directory 
in November ordered twelve demibrigades — thirty-six battalions 
under Gens. Bemadotte and Delmas — to be sent him from the 
armies in France. The last of these troops were now reaching the 
Quadrilateral and Napoleon was anxious to begin his new cam- 
paign before the Austrian army could be similarly reinforced. 
When the reinforcements reached him the battalions were about 
600 men each. 

Napoleon's general plan was to divide his army into two wings. 
Joubert with about 20,000 men was to be left at Trent to await 
orders. Napoleon with about 40,000 was to advance in the plain 
between the mountains and the Adriatic on the roads leading to 

The campaign opened on the 10th of March when the French 
troops were posted as follows: The divisions of Joubert, Baraguey 
and Delmas, 18,500 men, constituted the left wing in the vicinity 
of Trent; Baraguey was at the head of the Brenta valley. The 
divisions of Massena, Guieu, Serurier and Bemadotte, 43,000 men, 
constituted the right wing. Massena was at Bassano, Guieu at 
Castelfranco, Serurier near Castelfranco and Bemadotte at Padua. 
About 2,000 men were left on the Adige and 1,500 in Mantua. 

Although Mantua had surrendered, the Austrian government 
was still unwilling to make peace and again sought to strengthen 
its army in Italy. Alvinczi was relieved from command at his 
own request and Archduke Charles, who had been successful in 
Germany, was sent to relieve him. The Archduke first visited the 
Tyrol and reached Italy just as Napoleon was about to open the 
campaign. He found the Austrian troops disorganized and morally 
weakened by their many defeats. He decided that it was impos- 
sible to attempt more than the defense of the frontier, until he 
could receive reinforcements and reorganize his army. Leaving a 
brigade on the lower Brenta to watch the crossings and a brigade 
at Feltre to guard the moimtain road connecting the Piave and 

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Drave valleys, he withdrew his main body behind the Tagliamento 
to reorganize. 

At this time the Austrian troops on the Tagliamento were organ- 
ized into six brigades of about 4,000 men each. To protect his 
communications with Vienna there were two small brigades of 
perhaps 1,500 to 2,000 each in the gorge of the Tagliamento south 
of Pontafel (Pontebba), and in the gorge of the Isonzo south of 
Tarvis. It was believed by the Archduke that both of these 
detachments would be strongly reinforced by detachments coming 
from Vienna before the French could reach them. 

The Archduke did not feel strong enough to resist Napoleon, for 
whose abilities he had great respect, but decided to remain on the 
Tagliamento and retard the French troops as much as possible. 
He had already decided on his plan of retreat, which was to be 
towards Triest; possibly because Napoleon had threatened to 
destroy that port, and possibly to compel Napoleon to follow a 
longer route than the direct route to Vienna through Tarvis and 
thus give more time for the Austrian reuif orcements to reach that 

CAMPAIGN. — March 10. — On March 10, Massena opened 
the campaign by moving up the Brenta valley to Primolano and 
thence over the moimtains to Feltre. On the following days he 
pursued the Austrian brigade which had been at Feltre beyond the 
town of Bellimo and captured the commander and a fifth of his 

The other three divisions crossed the Piave without opposition 
on the Treviso road on the 12th, and on the 15th were on the 
Tagliamento. From Bellimo, Massena was ordered to cross the 
mountains to the Tagliamento but was imable to do so. He was 
compelled to move southward to the plain and thence to the 
Tagliamento, arriving there on the 17th. 

March 16. — ^Without waiting for Massena's arrival, the other 
three divisions crossed the Tagliamento, which happened to be 
low and fordable. After a short resistance, the Austrian army 

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retreated as previously planned — 5,000 men under Gen. Bajalich 
with the army trains took the road for Tarvis via Udine and 
Caporetto, while the Archduke with the remainder of his army 
retreated towards the Isonzo at Gorz and Gradisca. 

March 17. — Napoleon now decided to seize the direct road to 
Vienna and ordered Massena, who had joined him, to march up 
the Tagliamento valley and seize Tarvis. In order that Joubert 
might join him there, orders were sent Joubert to advance via 
Botzen to Brixen whence a road ran eastward through the Drave 
valley to Villach. 

Bemadotte, Serurier and Guieu were ordered to follow the 
Archduke towards Triest. 

March 19. — ^Massena forced the gorge of the Tagliamento 18 
miles south of Pontafel held by 2,000 Austrians. Bemadotte and 
Serurier captured the fortified town of Gradisca with its garrison 
of one brigade. Guieu was on the Udine-Gorz road to their north. 

March 20. — ^Massena entered Pontafel without opposition. 
Bemadotte and Serurier marched on Gorz by the east bank of the 
Isonzo while Guieu moved northward to enter the Isonzo valley 
at Caporetto and join Massena at Tarvis. 

March 21. — Massena's advance guard reached Tarvis 22 miles 
from Pontafel and drove out a small Austrian garrison but was in 
tum driven out by the advance guard of the Austrian column 
moving up the Isonzo escorting the Austrian army trains. 

Napoleon remained at Gorz while Bemadotte and Serurier 
moved on the road towards Laibach. The reserve cavalry bri- 
gade moved to Triest to take possession of that port. 

March 22. — ^Massena recaptured Tarvis early in the moming 
and prevented the exit from the Isonzo valley of one-half of 
Bajalich's column. Guieu was moving up the Isonzo valley from 

March 23. — Bajalich's force in the Isonzo valley caught between 
Massena and Guieu surrendered with the army train of 30 guns 
and 400 wagons. 

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March 25. — Gen. Serurier being too ill to command his division, 
it fell to Gen. Chabot who was ordered to move up the Isonzo 
valley to Tarvis. 

March 26. — Napoleon had remained at Gorz from the 21st to 
the 26th to organize a government. On the 26th he turned over 
the government to Bemadotte and started for Tarvis. 

March 28. — Napoleon reached Tarvis and pushed on to Villach 
where he found most of his troops. At this time Joubert was at 
Brixen, with Delmas' division at Botzen. The Archduke was at 
Klagenfurt, where a part of his troops from Laibach and reinforce- 
ments from Vienna had joined him. These added to the troops 
defeated by Massena gave him a force of 13,000 to 14,000 men. 

March 29 to April 17. — The divisions of Massena, Guieu and 
Chabot moved out from Villach March 29, and pursued the Aus- 
trian forces as far as Leoben. There were several rear guard actions 
in the mountain passes. 

On April 7, Napoleon was at Judenburg 150 miles from Vienna, 
and his advance guard at Leoben, 116 miles from that capital. 
Bemadotte had joined him via Laibach and Klagenfurt. 

On the 31st of March, Napoleon had written to the Archduke 
suggesting peace; and on April 7, an armistice was arranged 
between the military commanders. This practically ended the 
campaign of less than one month.. 

On April 17, an agreement was signed by the representatives of 
the two governments providing for the termination of hostilities 
and a peace conference. 

While Napoleon was advancing from the Tagliamento, Joubert, 
in accordance with his orders, advanced through Botzen to Brixen 
where he waited for further orders. He left a division at Botzen 
and a detachment at Trent. 

The Austrians now began to attack him and he was placed in 
an embarassing position by the concentration of a superior Aus- 
trian force in front of Botzen, which threatened his communi- 

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He was relieved from his embarassment by the arrival of a 
French officer in disguise, who had made his way from Villach. 
Joubert at once, April 3, called in the division from Botzen and 
started for Villach April 5, 140 miles distant. 

On April 10, he reached Spital — ^24 miles from Villach — ^where 
he met a French force sent by Napoleon, and learned of the 

After the signing of the armistice between the two governments, 
Massena was sent to Paris to present it to the government 
and the French army withdrew from Austrian territory. 


1. The Archduke, desiring to cover Vienna and Triest, should 
have united his forces in the Tyrol, where the inhabitants and the 
topography of the country would have assisted him and where he 
could easily receive assistance from the Austrian army on the 
Rhine. As long as he maintained himself in the Tyrol, he had no 
reason to fear a French advance beyond the Isonzo. If the French 
general advanced eastward from the Piave, the Archduke could 
advance along the Adige; this would compel the French general 
to concentrate to meet this movement. A successful movement 
by the French against the Archduke in the Tyrol would have been 
.extremely difficult. 

2. The Archduke, in taking up his position on the Tagliamento, 
should have adopted the road up the Tagliamento as his line of 
retreat. It should have been evident to him that Napoleon was 
planning to seize Tarvis. 

3. After the fight on the Tagliamento, it was a mistake for him 
to send any troops towards Tarvis, as it was almost certain that 
Massena would reach there first. It was equally useless for him 
to leave any troops at Gradisca after marching his main force to 
the rear. These troops were only sacrificed. 

4. Was not the march of the French army by its two lines of 
operation contrary to the principle that an army should have but 

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one line of operations? Was not the uniting of these two columns 
near Villach in violation of the principle never to unite columns in 
front of or near the enemy? Would it not have been better to 
have given Napoleon 10,000 more, and Joubert 10,000 less, and 
ordered the latter to act strictly on the defensive? By this plan, 
war in the Tyrol, a difficult field of operations, would have been 
avoided; the dangers attending a concerted movement would also 
have been avoided, and at the outset, all the troops would have 
been concentrated. 

None of the above principles was violated. It would have been 
very unwise to have left Joubert with a small force and made it 
possible for the Austrians to drive him back and reach Verona 
before the French reached Villach. It was wiser to make him 
strong enough to assume the offensive and drive the Austrians 
over the Brenner pass. 

We did not enter Austria by two lines, since the road from Trent 
to Villach, via Botzen and Brixen, is on the south side of the main 
chain of the Alps. Joubert made no movement imtil the Taglia- 
mento was crossed and the possession of Tarvis was assured. After 
that, it was impossible for the Archduke to so maneuver as to 
prevent the imion of the two wings of the army. 


BARAGUEY-d'HILLIERS, Louis.— Born 1764. Entered army in 1783 as 
cadet, lieut. colonel 1787, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1797. 
Served in the Army of the Rhine, in the Army of Italy in 1797, in Egypt 1798, 
in the Army of the Rhine in 1800, in the campaign of Austerlitz. in 1808-1809- 
1810 in Italy, in 1812 in Russia. Died in Berlin 1812. 

! BERNADOTTE, Charles Jean.— Bom in France 1764. Enlisted in the 
army in 1781, sergeant 1789, chief of battalion of volunteers 1792, general of 
brigade 1793, general of division 1794, minister of war 1799, marshal 1804. 
Served along the Rhine in the early part of French Revolution, joined the Army 
of Italy in 1797. As conmiander of the I army corps took part in the campaigns 
of Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau and Friedland 1805-1807. In 1810 was elected by the 
Swedish states to succeed Charles XIII and as Prince Royal engaged with the 
allies in the campaigns of 1813-1814 against France. Under the French empire 
he was made Prince of Ponte Corvo, became king of Sweden in 1818 as Charles 
XIV. Died 1844. 

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CHABOT, Louis Jean.— Born 1764. Entered army 1754, captain 1792, 
general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795. Served in the Army of the 
West, conmianded a division of the besieging army at Mantua when Wurmser 
surrendered, served in Spain 1808 and 1809, joined the Bourbons in 1814 and 
did not retiun to Napoleon in 1815. Died 1837. 

DELMAS, Antoine Guillaume. — Entered army in 1780, chief of battalion 
1891, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1793. Served in the Army of 
the Rhine, served in the Army of Italy in 1797. Under the Empire he was 
relieved from conmiand because he was a friend of Gen. Moreau but later 
was restored. — Fatally 'wounded at Leipsic 1813. 

DUMAS, Thomas Alexander.— Bom 1762 in San Domingo. Entered army 
in 1786, lieut. colonel of cavalry 1789, general of brigade 1793, general of division 
1793. Served in the Army of the West, in the Army of Italy in 1797, in Egypt 
in 1798, captured on his return voyage and imprisoned in Naples for two years. 
On his return to France he was opposed to Napoleon as First Consul and relieved 
from command. Died 1806. Father of Alexander Dumas. 

GUIEU, Jean Joseph.— Bom 1758. Enlisted in artillery in 1780, chief of 
battalion 1792, chief of brigade and general of brigade 1793, general of division 
1797, retired 1798, died 1817. His principal service was with the Army of Italy 
in the divisions of Sauret, Vaubois and Augereau. 

VICTOR, Claude.— Bom 1764. Entered the army as drummer in 1781 and 
served until 1789. Entered the volunteers as a private in 1792, chief of bat- 
talion in 1793, and general of brigade for conduct in siege of Toulon in 1793, 
general of division in 1796, marshal in 1807. He served in the Army of the 
Pyrenees 1793-5, in that of Italy 1796-7 and in 1799, in the Reserve Army 1800, 
temporarily commander of the I and X corps in 1807 and as commander of 
former participated in the battle of Friedland; served with distinction in Spain 
1809, took an active part in the campaign of Moscow and in those of 1813 and 
1814 which followed it. Upon Napoleon's abdication he offered his services to 
Louis XVIII. and retired from France during the Hundred Days. He was 
afterwards minister of war, but retired from public service after the revolution 
of 1830. He died in 1841. During the Empire he was made Duke of Bellimo. 


CHARLES, Ludwig, Archduke of Austria.— Bom 1771. In 1792-1794 took 
an active part in campaigns and battles of Jemappes, Aldenhoven, Neerwinden, 
Landrecies, Toumay, Courtray and Fleurus. In 1796 commander of Army of 
Rhine drove Jourdan and Moreau across Rhine and captured Kehl. In 1797 
commander of Italian army. In 1799 commander Rhine army and defeated 
Jourdan in four battles. Conmiander of Italian Army in 1805, and of the Aus- 
trian army on the Danube 1809. Defeated by Napoleon in the campaigns of 
1797 and 1809. 

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Right Wing — Napoleon. 






2d light 



18th line 



20th " 


25th " 
32d " 


10th chasseurs 
3d dragoons 


27th light 



4th line 



40th " 


43d " 

51st " 



21st light 


12th line 



64th " 


69th " 
6th " 



25th chasseurs 


15th light 


30th line 


55th " 


61st " 
88th " 



4th chasseurs 
14th dragoons 

Cavalry reserve 


1st hussars 



24th chasseurs 
9th dragoons 
5th cavalry 

Artillery and eng 


Total, right wing, 



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Left Wing- 

4th Ught 


17th " 


22d " 


29th " 







14th line 
18th " 
33d " 
68th " 
85th " 

11th light 



12th " 
39th line 
58th " 






26th Ught 
5th line 
93d " 


Artillery and engineers 


Dumas (cavalry 


22th chasseurs 
5th dragoons 


left wing, 



Total force, 



INFANTRY.— In 1794, the two-battalion regiments of the 
regular French army were abolished by the following decree: — 

"The infantry shall be formed into demibrigades, each 
containing one of the battalions of the former regiments 
of the line (regulars) and two battalions of volimteers (of 
1792 and 1793). The demibrigade shall have 2,437 men 
and six 4-pounder guns." 

One hundred and forty demibrigades were authorized. 

As the troops were in active campaign, this transformation took 
time, and all the battalions were not incorporated in demibrigades 

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when Napoleon took command of the Army of Italy. There was 
also confusion in numbering the demibrigades and many of those 
in the army had their number changed during the campaign. 

The demibrigade was commanded by a chef de brigade (colonel) 
who was assisted by a junior chef de brigade (lieutenant colonel). 

Each battalion was commanded by a chef de bataillon (major) 
and was composed of nine companies with four officers each. 

The infantry was of two classes — infantry of the line and light 
infantry. About one-fourth of the demibrigades were light 

Each battalion had nine companies of which one was an elite 
company whose officers and men were selected and received 
higher pay than those of like rank in the other companies. That 
of the line battalions was called the grenadier company and that 
of the light infantry the carabinier company. These companies 
did not fight in line or column with the other companies, but were 
reserved for special tasks. 

The line infantry formed the line of battle and against infantry 
employed the bayonet in attack and the musket in defense. The 
light infantry was for skirmishing and mountain warfare and 
relied principally on fire action and on rapid marching. 

One of the changes made by Napoleon in the infantry during 
his Italian operations was to arm with muskets the lieutenants and 
sergeants of the light infantry and the sergeants of line infantry, 
who had formerly carried swords. Another was to give rifles to 
the carabinier companies of the light infantry. 

Napoleon was a strict advocate of the bayonet. He fixed a fine 
for the loss of the bayonet, which was to be expended in purchasing 
new ones. "The bayonet has always been the arm of the brave 
man and the principal instrument of victory. It is the arm best 
suited to the French soldier." 

Of the many infantry officers, who afterwards rose to higher 
rank, the most conspicuous was Lannes who began as chef de 
bataillon and for his conspicuous bravery, rose to general of brigade 

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in these campaigns. Rampon rose from chef de brigade to general 
of brigade for his defense of Monte Legino. 

CAVALRY. — The cavalry of the French army was composed of 
regiments of cavalry, hussars, dragoons and chasseurs — ^86 in all. 
The cavalry regiments were of the cuirrassier class, intended for 
the battlefield; the hussars were the light cavalry for outpost 
duty against cavalry; the dragoons were analogous to the line 
infantry having carbines with bayonets; the chasseurs were anal- 
ogous to the light infantry and carried the carbine without 

All the cavalry was formed into regiments of four squadrons of 
160 men each. 

When Napoleon took command of the army, his cavalry con- 
sisted of eleven regiments: — 2 of hussars, 5 of chasseurs and 4 of 
dragoons. Two or more regiments formed a brigade. At the 
beginning of his operations he formed them into two divisions, 
but after the death of General Stengel he formed them into brigades 
of which one was always in reserve and the others were attached 
to the infantry divisions. 

He also organized the guides, his own personal escort, which in 
these campaigns was only a squadroti. The guides were later 
employed in his Egyptian campaign, and then became the nucleus 
of the consular and imperial guard. 

Until Napoleon took command, all the operations of the Army 
of Italy had taken place in the mountains, where cavalry was 
difficult to maintain and where it had a limited field of action. 
Napoleon at first distrusted its field and regimental officers 
because of their limited experience, and wrote at once for three 
young adjutants-general, who had seen service in the cavalry, been 
under fire, and were resolved not to make skilful retreats. These 
were to serve on the staff of the chief of cavalry. 

He also applied at once for horse artillery, which had been intro- 
duced into the French service in 1792, as he did not care to expose 

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his cavalry to the Austrian cavahy without the support of thi& 
auxiliary arm. 

The most conspicuous service performed by the cavalry was its 
reconnaissance work, for which it was especially suited. 

Some of the most skilful cavalry leaders of the Napoleonic era 
had their first lessons of real warfare in these campaigns. 

Murat became brigadier general when Stengel was killed. Bes- 
sieres had command of the guides. Lasalle won his first important 
advancement at Rivoli. 

Of the cavalry officers of the old royal army, Gens. Stengel,. 
Dumas and Beaumont served with distinction. 

ARTILLERY.— In 1796 the French army had eight regular 
regiments of light and siege artillery of twenty companies each, 
and eight regular regiments of horse artillery of nine companies 
each. Each demibrigade of infantry was expected to have six 
light guns, two to a battalion, managed by a company of volunteer 

The Army of Italy had in 1796 very little effective light artillery 
and no horse artillery. 

In the French army at this time, the horses and drivers of the 
artillery were furnished and maintained by contractors, or the 
horses were purchased and the men hired by the supply department 
of the army, as in our own wagon and pack trains. They did not 
belong to the artillery proper. 

The Army of Italy was very weak in transportation and fought 
its first battles largely with the demibrigade light guns, probably 
drawn by the troops. 

After the French captured Lodi, Napoleon established his artil- 
lery depot there and began the organization of his field artillery.. 

For his advance on the Mincio in May, he was able to furnish 
each of his four infantry divisions with a light battery of six guns 
and his cavalry with a similar battery. The pieces were 3-poun- 
ders, 5-pounders, 8-pounders and field howitzers. To secure 

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drivers he called on each of his infantry divisions for 100 men. 
The horses were obtained by requisition. 

He continued to improve this arm and in the spring of 1797, its 
organization was as follows: — 

Each infantry division had two batteries of artillery; one bat- 
tery was light artillery, and the other horse or moimtain, depend- 
ing upon its field of operations. 

The battery, or division as it was called, was composed of six 
guns and six caissons. Because of the variety of pieces in the 
army, one platoon in each battery had 3-, 4-, or 5-pounders, 
another 11- or 12-pounders, and the third howitzers. The per- 
sonnel of each battery consisted of 72 cannoneers, of whom 32 
belonged to some regular artillery company and the remainder 
to some volimteer company. The remaining men of the two com- 
panies from whom these were drawn were attached to the artillery 

The drivers and horses of the battery formed a distinct organi- 
zation, called a train brigade under the charge of a conducteur and 
were also divided into three platoons. Two inspectors supervised 
the artillery trains of the army. 

Besides these divisional batteries, he organized as many similar 
batteries for an artillery reserve a§ possible. 

Under his chief of artillery there was an assistant chief in charge 
of the field, and one of the siege artillery. 

His most efficient artillery officer was General Lespinasse who 
rose under him from colonel to general of division for his service 
in the Army of Italy. He was at the time sixty years old and had 
had a high reputation in his corps. Napoleon said of him "He was 
one of those generals of artillery who love best to be with the 
advance guard." 

Of the younger officers of artillery who later became famous, 
the most conspicuous was Marmont, who was lieutenant and aide 
of Napoleon and rose to chef de brigade during the campaigns. He 

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was frequently intrusted by Napoleon with placing the artillery 
in position on the battlefield. 

The pontoniers, who then formed a branch of the artillery, were 
under Gen. Andreossy (1761-1828) who joined the Army of Italy 
as a chef de bataillon in the artillery. As Napoleon had no bridge 
train before Lodi, it was Andreossy who organized this branch of 
the service engaging sailors for this purpose. He also organized 
flotillas on Lake Garda and on the lakes around Mantua. 

When Napoleon entered the campaign against Archduke Charles 
he had two complete bridge trains with the army besides a number 
of floating bridges across the rivers on his lines of communication. 

For his service in the Army of Italy, Andreossy was promoted 
to general of brigade. 

ENGINEERS.— At the outbreak of the French revolution the 
French corps of engineers consisted only of a corps of officers. In 
1794 the six battalions of miners and twelve battalions of sappers 
were transferred from the artillery to the engineers. 

When Napoleon took command, there were small detachments 
of both miners and sappers but without proper organization. His 
first step was to organize a strong company of engineer troops 
capable of performing all kinds of technical work. 

Having no officers educated at the engineer school of Mezieres, 
Colonel Chasseloup (1754-1833), one of the most distinguished 
engineers in the army, was sent him. He took charge of siege 
operations at Milan and Mantua and reconstructed the fortifica- 
tions of Verona, Legnago, Peschiera, Padua and many other 
Italian cities. He acted with Lespinasse in fortifying the lines of 
the covering army of Mantua and with Andreossy in establishing 
and defending the bridges. 

For his services at Mantua he was promoted to general of 
brigade and later to general of division. 

"He was one of the best officers of his corps; of imeven character 
but with a complete knowledge of all the resources of his art." — 
Napoleon at St. Helena. 

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Napoleon formed small pioneer detachments in each battalion 
of infantry by equipping four men with axes, two with spades and 
two with picks. Bayonets were attached to the handles of these 
tools for defense. 

BRIGADE. — Two demibrigades of infantry formed a brigade 
commanded by a general of brigade. The number of generals of 
brigades usually exceeded the nxmiber of brigades and it was a 
common custom for generals of brigade to lead a demibrigade in 
battle, or command it on the march. 

DIVISION. — The infantry division of the French army was, 
like the infantry division of to-day, a complete unit with all arms. 
The composition of the division both in infantry and cavalry was 
changed to meet the requirements of the duty it was directed to 
perform. It was commanded by a general of division, who was 
assisted by several adjutants-general. 

In the course of his operations Napoleon established a base for 
each infantry division and for his cavalry, in the cities between the 
Mincio and Ticino rivers. OflScers and men reporting from sick 
leave or the hospitals, recruits and general supplies, were sent to 
these bases, thus reducing the confusion at the front. 

THE GENERAL STAFF.— The general staff of the army con- 
sisted of a chief of staff and a number of adjutants-general assigned 
as chief of staff of divisions, or simply as aids to these chiefs of 
staff. They had the rank of chef de brigade or chef de batailUm. 
They had charge of the military correspondence, reports, recon- 
naissance work, map making, inspections, etc. They frequently 
led columns in battle and several of them became generals of 

SUPPLY. — ^The supply of the armies was by contract. All 
officials of the supply and pay departments were civilians and had 
no military status. The officials of this department were both 
inefficient and corrupt, and as Napoleon states, made the expense 
of the army about five times what it should have been, besides 

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' 79 

reducing its efficiency by irregularity in supplying food, forage and 
pay; notwithstanding the heavy requisitions made upon the 
country in which he was operating. Napoleon struggled in vain 
to correct the abuses pf this department by discharging and im- 
prisoning its employees. They requisitioned without authority 
and sold the supplies belonging to the government and the army 
for their own benefit. 


The normal formation of the line infantry was in three ranks 
and in two lines. 

In the attack, the battalions were in mass with a two-company 
front and a depth of twelve men. The interval between battalion 
columns was that of six companies in line. In defense, the battal- 
ions of the first line were in line, the third rank forming local 
reserves. The battalions of the second line were in mass. 

The normal formation of the light infantry was in two ranks. 

In the attack, the light infantry was deployed in front of the 
line battalions, forming a skirmish line with yard intervals. 

Firing as they advanced, they concealed the line battalions by 
a cloud of smoke and when they arrived at fifty yards from the 
enemy they gathered in the intervals between the line battalions 
and kept up their fire to cover the attack or permit the withdrawal 
of the line troops. 

The line battalions advanced steadily at an ordinary pace — the 
leading companies with guns at the charge and the others at the 
shoulder — ^until the enemy's line was reached, when the rear com- 
panies rushed up to carry the point of the enemy's line in front of 
the battalion with fixed bayonets. 

The second line advanced about 250 yards in rear of the first 
to reinforce . its attack. 

The grenadiers marched on the flank of the battalion to protect 
it from flank attack and the cavalry was on the flanks to guard 
the whole from flank attacks by the enemy's cavalry. If not 

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successfully protected by cavalry, the battalions halted and 
formed squares until the enemy's cavalry was driven off. 

The battalion guns were placed in the intervals between bat- 
talions and advanced with the light infantry. 

Napoleon did not follow blindly any system of tactics. At 
Arcole, which was a fight of the heads of columns, Napoleon placed 
his grenadiers in front of each colimm. He usually massed his 
guns on what he considered the key points of the enemy's line. 
Thus, at Castiglione, he placed 20 guns in a single battery under 
Marmont; these largely contributed to his victory. 


When Napoleon took command of the Army of Italy at Nice, 
he issued the following circular March 27, 1796. 

"Soldiers, you are naked, and starving; the government 
owes you much and can give you nothing. The patience 
and the courage you show amongst these rocks are admir- 
able, but no glory, not even a ray, can shine upon you. I 
am going to lead you into the most fertile plains of the 
world. Rich provinces, great cities will be in your power; 
there you will find honor, glory and riches. Soldiers of 
Italy, will your courage or your perseverance fail?" 
The picture he drew of the condition of the Army of Italy was 
not overdrawn. The division commanders were petitioning for 
shoes, at least for the men on outpost duty in the mountains. 
Serurier reported that his men went on raiding expeditions without 
orders and would rather raid than fight. One artillery company 
had sold its cannon, for the purpose of getting food. Massena 
reported his men dying of scurvy. Laharpe reported his men as 
rebellious and saying they would fight in the same manner as they 
were paid. Napoleon himself had to disband a battalion at Nice 
that refused to march to the front until they were paid. Massena 
reported the advance guard as in need of two thousand muskets. 
Napoleon concealed neither from his soldiers nor from himself 
the fact that the only hope for that army lay in an advance move- 

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ment. He praised the courage and patience of the men and 
refrained from saying anything about their insubordination, for 
he hoped to conquer that by supplying their physical wants. 
He therefore spent the days preceding operations in personally 
organizing pack trains to supply the men and in forwarding such 
supplies as he had been able to procure. 

He trusted to the reputation he had made at Toulon and in 
1794, and to their desire to relieve their bodily wants, to carry 
them forward when the time came. 

The first town they captured was Dego which they promptly 
began to loot; they were surprised by the Austrians and driven 
from it. On the Corsaglia, Serurier's men captured the village of 
St. Michael, and at once began to loot it; this compelled Serurier 
to retreat. Before the battle of Mondovi was over, the French 
troops began to loot and almost lost the battle. 

After the battle of Mondovi, Napoleon issued an order on the 
subject of looting, containing the following extracts: — 

"The general in chief expresses to the army his satis- 
faction with the bravery of his troops and their daily vic- 
tories over their adversaries; but he witnesses with horror 
the frightful pillage of the perverse men who join their 
organization only after the battle and deliver themselves 
to excesses which dishonor the army and the nation. 

"Generals of division are authorized to relieve and to 
send to Antibes in arrest the oflScers who have by their 
example authorized the horrible pillage of the last few 

"The generals of division are authorized, according 
to circumstances, to have shot at once, officers or soldiers 
who by their example incite others to pillage and by it 
destroy discipline, thus bringing the army into disorder 
and compromising its safety and glory." 

"Every officer and non-commissioned officer who has 
not followed his colors and is absent from a combat with- 
out authority will be at once relieved, and his name will 
be sent to his department in France, where he will be 
posted as a coward." 

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"Every soldier who is twice convicted of skulking, will 
be published in orders to his battalion." 

"Every soldier deserting his colors will lose his senior- 
ity and be placed at the foot of his company. If he 
belongs to the grenadiers or carabiniers his name will be 
erased from the company roll. Any soldier twice convicted 
of cowardice will be degraded before his battalion and sent 
beyond the Var to work on the roads during the cam- 

"(Jenerals of division, generals of brigade and com- 
manding oflScers will be held responsible for the execu- 
tion of this order." 

Notwithstanding this order, pillage and looting continued to 
the end of the campaign of 1797, although it was much restricted 
when the army was in Austria, where Napoleon wished to win 
the good will of the inhabitants. Much of the looting was due to 
the defective supply system of the army, which failed to furnish 
rations, forage or pay with any regularity, and also to the policy 
of the French government which not only requisitioned supplies 
in Italy, but robbed its museums of its choicest works of art. 

It is natural that the volunteers raised during the Reign of Terror 
in France, when liberty and license were almost synonymous 
terms, should be diflScult to bring under the restraint of military 
order. In this respect the officers were as bad as the men, as 
may be judged from the following extract: — 

"January 1797. 

"Direct (Jeneral Lannes to depart two hours after the 
receipt of this order to join the 19th demibrigade at 
Borgo San Donino and march at its head. Order every 
officer to march with his command, and the demibrigade 
to keep closed up. All the officers must be with their 
companies and not riding in carriages. Let the demi- 
brigade have the appearance of belonging to the Army 
of Italy, and not to the king of Persia. 

"You will direct (Jeneral Lannes to relieve the first 
officer who rides in a carriage and is not with his com- 
pany, in accordance with this order. 

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"He will assemble the oflScers on his arrival and inform 
them that I am displeased with their disorder on the 

It must be remembered that this order was issued towards the 
end of his operations and that General Lannes was one of his best 
officers. It should be said however that the 19th demibrigade 
had been doing fortress work until this time. 

Napoleon was fortunate in his division commanders, as far as 
military operations were concerned, but they did not all assist 
him in establishing discipline. Of Massena he says, "He neglected 
discipline, was careless about administration, and was not liked by 
his men." As a matter of fact the company officers of the Army 
of Rome, to which he was assigned after this campaign, and which 
included his own division and one other, had a meeting in the 
Pantheon and relieved him from command; a step which the 
Directory felt compelled to approve. 

Augereau was popular with his men, as he was a violent repub- 
lican and treated his men as companions and equals. It is 
doubtful if his command was well disciplined. 

Serurier was an officer of the old army and never got over his 
distrust of the volunteers, who could not be brought under the 
same discipline as his old regulars. He was not therefore popular 
with his command. Laharpe, being a strong republican and hav- 
ing sacrificed his personal interests for France, was well liked. 

Sauret and Vaubois had not the strength of character necessary 
for disciplinarians of a volunteer command. 


1. The morale of his army. — ^Unlike Massena, Napoleon sought 
the goodwill and confidence of his soldiers; and unlike Serurier 
he trusted them. He sought to make them proud of their army, 
of their military imit, and of their personal reputation. 

On the 24th of April, 1796, immediately after the battle of 
Mondovi, he sent his aide — ^Jimot — with twenty-one colors 

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captured in the battles of Montenotte, Millesimo, Dego and Mon- 
dovi, to Paris, to present them with ceremony to the Directory. 

In his letter of transmittal, to be read to the Directors, he says, 
**The Army of Italy in presenting you with these twenty-one 
colors, testimonials of its bravery, charges me to assure you of 
its devotion to the constitution and to the magistrates (the 
directors), etc." 

After each important victory a similar messenger was sent to 
impress upon France and the world the feats of the Army of Italy 
and to make every individual in that army proud of its name. 

To make oflScers and soldiers take pride in their organizations 
he had inscribed on the colors of the battalions the engagements 
in which they took part; those in which they played an important 
part, were inscribed in larger letters than the others. On the 
colors of the 57th demibrigade he had inscribed, "The terrible 
57th which nothing can resist"; on those of two demibrigades of 
Vaubois' division, who had shown demoralization in the retreat 
from Trent, he had inscribed, "This battalion is not of the Army 
of Italy." 

After each engagement he promptly made a report to Paris, 
and in it mentioned the organizations that played an important 
part in it and described the feats performed by them. 

To encourage individual officers and men, promotion promptly 
followed any conspicuous act. Rampon was appointed brevet 
general four days after Montenotte and recommended for pro- 
motion to the War Department. Lanusse and Lannes were pro- 
moted immediately after the battle of Dego in which they had 
played conspicuous parts. 

After every engagement the commanding generals were directed 
to report the names of officers and men who had distinguished 
themselves, and they were promptly promoted if their previous 
record had been good. 

Besides promotion. Napoleon rewarded individuals by present- 
ing officers with swords of honor and the men with muskets of 

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honor, and by making grants of money from that obtained by 
requisition or by the sale of captured stores. A soldier who cap- 
tured a horse from the enemy's army was allowed to turn it in and 
draw its value in money. 

2. His military instinct. — He had a faculty for correctly esti- 
mating a military situation, whether it was limited to a battle- 
field, or extended over a theatre of war. 

While Massena was worrying over the exposed situation of the 
brigade at Voltri in the early days of April 1796, it gave Napoleon 
no concern. He realized at once that Beaulieu could not alone 
advance on Savona along the coast; Savona was in danger only 
from an attack via Montenotte or Cairo. He therefore sent Mar- 
ihont to Voltri to estimate Beaulieu's strength and withdraw the 
French brigade, while he remained near Savona to prepare his 
counter movement. 

The turning movement via Piacenza, the campaigns against 
Wurmser and Alvinczi, all show this faculty of grasping the 
weakness in an enemy's general dispositions. At Rivoli was 
shown his ability to select the keypoint of a battlefield. 

His mind acted as clearly when the enemy seemed to have 
him at a disadvantage, as in the first campaigns of Wurmser and 
Alvinczi, as it did when he had the enemy at a disadvantage, as 
in his campaign against Beaulieu and his second campaign 
against Wurmser. 

He apparently failed to grasp the military situation in the sum- 
mer of 1796, when he allowed Wurmser to surprise him. This was 
due to the fact that he had probably been misinformed as to the 
character of the coimtry west of Lake Garda, and because he was 
obliged to go to Mantua and trust Massena to dispose his troops 
to the best advantage to cover Mantua. 

In his first campaign against Alvinczi, he was deceived as to 
the character of Alvinczi's troops, by some prisoners taken by 
Massena. The latter reported them as very inferior soldiers. 

3. His ability to make prompt decisions and act in accordance 

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vrith them. — While many generals fail because they cannot cor- 
rectly estimate a military situation, quite as many more fail 
because they cannot decide to act promptly in accordance with 
their estimate. Napoleon appreciated the value of time. 

From the moment a campaign opened imtil it closed, the French 
troops were in motion with a definite purpose, almost continu- 
ously. As they realized that they were marching with an object, 
they could accomplish feats that would have been impossible for 
troops who had less confidence in their commander. 

It was his ability to make prompt decisions and act upon them, 
that enabled him to unite his divisions and attack those of his 
enemy in detail. 

Few generals, without a bridge train, would have conceived the 
idea of crossing a river like the Po in hostile territory, or, if they 
did conceive it, would have dared to risk laurels won at Monte- 
notte, Dego, Millessimo and Mondovi, in such an operation. 

Few generals would have been able to make up their minds to 
abandon the siege of Mantua to attack Wurmser's field army, imtil 
it was too late. Napoleon had had great diflSculty in getting 
together enough siege artillery to attack the place and he knew 
that if this artillery was now abandoned it could not be replaced. 
He must then resort to investment and give the Austrians the 
opportunity of sending relieving armies to raise the siege. 

His decision to attack Alvinczi's communications via Arcole 
was his most remarkable conception, and his decision to persist in 
it notwithstanding his lack of success on the first day, by with- 
drawing additional troops from Vaubois' depleted and demoralized 
command, was even more remarkable. It is safe to say no other 
general of history would have been capable of the conception and 
execution of this plan. 

4. His aggressiveness. — Throughout the campaign he showed 
a desire to bring matters to an issue as soon as possible. 

5. His indifference to physical danger. — He never hesitated to 
expose himself if it seemed desirable. 

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He impressed his oflScers and men with the fact that honor and 
promotion were only for those who led the way in an attack. 

6. His calmness and self control in all situations. — He was never 
duly elated by victory or unduly depressed by defeat. When he 
was surrounded by a superior force of Austrians at Lonato in 
August 1796, and the Austrian commander sent an aide with a 
flag of truce to demand the surrender of the place, Napoleon had 
the aide brought into his presence blindfolded and removed his 
bandage in the presence of himself and staff. He then upbraided 
him for his audacity in demanding the surrender of a general-in- 
chief in the midst of his army, and sent him back with a demand 
for the immediate surrender of the Austrian force. The Austrian 
force surrendered. 

His calmness on the battlefield enabled him to observe the 
progress of a battle and employ his troops to the best advantage. 
It also enabled him to observe the conduct of individuals, to make 
every officer and soldier feel that the eyes of the general command- 
ing was upon him and he would be rewarded or punished, according 
to his conduct. ^ 

7. His indefatigable energy. — ^Although slight in person. Napo- 
leon was at this time in fine physical condition and could stand 
both great mental and physical effort. His active mind allowed 
no rest for himself, his generals, or his army while there remained 
anything to be done. When not in active campaign he was con- 
stantly employed on political missions and in reorganizing his 
army. This energy caused him to weed out from his army every 
officer who was sluggish, mentally or physically, and retain only 
those who had his own activity. 

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